"He may be in the corner, but not your corner."
That's what Floyd Mayweather, Jr. said to Oscar de la Hoya at a promotional stop in Las Vegas for the huge May 5 bout between the pound-for-pound best in the world and the dollar-for-dollar best in the world. And with that, Floyd and his estranged father hugged.
Mayweather, backed by his father and his uncle, Roger -- assuming Roger is released from prison, as expected -- now has a corner that can undoubtedly prepare him for anything that Oscar and new trainer Freddie Roach throw his way. If Roach joining Oscar's camp made you think a little more of Oscar's hopes against the younger, faster, better boxer, then what does Floyd, Sr. joining his son do?
It makes Floyd near unbeatable for this fight. He was going to be a heavy favorite anyway, even stepping all the way up to 154 to take the fight. Even though Oscar is probably the stronger puncher at this weight. Even though Oscar is the more battle-tested.
But if you want to talk about who wants to win this fight the most, it appears right now, in my opinion, that it's Mayweather, and it's not close. Reuniting with his father is a great business choice. He knows Oscar, knows his habits and his tendencies, his weaknesses and his strengths, probably just as well as Oscar himself does. No fighter should be 37-0 with the solid (if not spectacular) range of opponents that Mayweather has had, and still have people thinking he has something left to prove.
Meanwhile, Oscar hasn't beaten a truly top-shelf fighter in years, and no one questions his toughness or his status. Since beating Oba Carr in 1999, Oscar's career has taken a bit of a tumble.
He lost to Trinidad, beat Derrell Coley, and lost to Mosley. Beat Gatti badly, beat Castillejo, beat Vargas, beat Yory Boy Campas. Lost again to Mosley. "Beat" Felix Sturm. Was obliterated by Hopkins. Beat Mayorga.
That covers Oscar from September of 1999 until the present day: 7-4, and the three best fighters he took on count for every loss, and Sturm was very close to making it 6-5.
In the same time, Mayweather has fought and beaten everyone he's faced. But let's just look at three notables:
Diego Corrales -- A sound thrashing by Mayweather, one of the most dominant performances of his career.
Jesus Chavez -- Another one that wasn't even close.
Jose Luis Castillo -- Twice.
And there are plenty of good fighters on the list, too. Mayweather also destroyed Gatti, like Oscar did. Henry Bruseles, Chop Chop Corley, a red-hot and tough Carlos Baldomir, Zab Judah, Phillip N'dou, so on and so forth. And none of the fights, save for the two against Castillo, were very close at all.
This fight is about legacy, for both guys. Well, and money. With the Mayweathers all in one corner, I don't see a way for Oscar to win this fight outside of one furious left hook. It's just been too long since Oscar scored a win like this one would be. Or does that just make for the perfect set-up?