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Does Steve Forbes have a shot?

It's not the only question I have right now, but it's one of them.

What kind of wrench would that throw into the boxing landscape, were Steve Forbes to score the massive upset on Oscar de la Hoya on May 3?

It is partly prompted by the recent upset victories of Nate Campbell, Brian Vera and (kind of) Joel Casamayor -- I qualify Casamayor because those in the know knew he had at least a 50-50 shot with a guy like Katsidis, even if the Vegas odds definitely favored the younger man.

It is also prompted because I had a dream last night, I shit you not, where little Stevie Forbes decked Oscar with a sudden and monstrous home run punch in the first round, and "The Golden Boy" couldn't make it to his feet on steady legs in time.

It's unlikely, I know. But so were the wins of Campbell and Vera. So were a million other unbelievable upsets in boxing history, from Jim Braddock to Buster Douglas and everywhere before, in between, and after.

These guys aren't even live dogs, like Campbell was. These are just plain ol' underdogs, guys who have no realistic chance on paper. In this age of great matchups, sometimes you're still going to get these, either as tune-ups or mandatory title fights.

#1: Miguel Cotto v. Alfonso Gomez

I've already talked about this one, but if the workman-like Gomez were to beat Cotto, I might have a heart attack. It would have to come in chest-pounding fashion, after all, since it's not like Gomez is going to outpoint Cotto with his superb jabbing and magnificent defense quelling all of Cotto's attacks. Gomez will come to fight and will stand toe-to-toe with Cotto. This should get him manhandled, as everything Gomez is even good at, Cotto is better.

Chances that Gomez beats Cotto: Slim to none -- the style matchup is awful for him

#2: Oscar de la Hoya v. Steve Forbes

On the one hand, both are former world champions, and did so at 130 pounds. Unfortunately for Forbes, Oscar also won titles at 135, 140, 147, 154 and even 160, disputed or not.

Forbes is 5'7 1/2" with a 68" reach. Oscar is three inches taller with five more inches in reach. Oscar has 30 knockouts among his 38 career victories. Forbes has nine in his 33.

They've both lost five times. "2 Pound" Forbes has fallen to Alejandro Gonzalez, Carlos Hernandez, Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai, Grady Brewer and Demetrius Hopkins (he deserved the decision against D-Hop). Oscar, meanwhile, has losses to Tito Trinidad, Shane Mosley (twice), Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. -- four Hall of Famers.

Forbes was runner-up on season two of "The Contender." Oscar was an Olympic gold medalist. The 150-pound catchweight is its own story. While Forbes has fought that high just a couple of times (on "The Contender," in short fights save for the 10-rounder with Brewer), Oscar has been fighting at 154 or higher since 2001.

As much as I like Stevie Forbes, as great as his story is, and as super of a dude as he might be, there is not a bigger big fight mismatch than this. Truth be told, and it's insulting to Forbes so I hate to say it, this matchup is a joke. This is the tune-up to end all tune-ups. An undersized, 31-year old ex-champion (20 pounds ago) against a guy who can still bring it, and belongs on the top 20 pound-for-pound list?

Come on, Oscar. Steve Forbes isn't going to "get you ready" for Floyd Mayweather any more than Felix Sturm prepared you for Bernard Hopkins. And don't give anyone that jive about bringing a fight back to Los Angeles on regular ol' HBO being your great gift to the fans. You want to give us a gift? Fight someone that has a chance to beat you, who isn't Mayweather, which just loads your pockets some more.

I don't begrudge success, and I think Oscar is a hell of a fighter even still, and that without him, boxing would be in some serious shit right now. But this is a crap fight barely worth tuning in to. Oscar-Forbes in 2008 is going to be no more competitive than Oscar-Angelo Nunez was in 1993. Forbes simply isn't good enough, isn't big enough to beat Oscar or even trouble him. And this B.S. about Forbes presenting a nice style tune-up for Mayweather is just that, too -- B.S.

The only compelling thing about this is Jeff Mayweather, a past de la Hoya victim way back in '93, will be training Forbes. Maybe he can lend some insight, such as, "Don't let him hit you, it'll hurt."

Bottom line is that Oscar could've fought anyone on earth and he chose Steve Forbes. I know he's fought the best of the best many times, and he deserves all credit for that. But does that give him a pass? This isn't Cotto-Gomez, where Cotto only had so many options, and Gomez is a popular fighter in the weight class, and the fight should be crowd-pleasing. This is a 1-seed against a tough little 12-seed that happened to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Chances that Forbes beats de la Hoya: As good as Steve Forbes' chances at winning the Presidency

#3: Vernon Forrest v. Sergio Mora

Yeah, I'm including this one. Mora is a powerless fighter who isn't even all that slick of a boxer. When he's retired, he'll be a footnote as "Contender season one champion," and nothing more. He will be remembered more for flushing his career down the toilet by deciding that a fight with middleweight king Jermain Taylor just wasn't to his liking, then later saying he was looking forward to fighting new middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, only to draw Elvin Ayala on live television and storm out of the ring in a huff. And he should've been in a huff -- the guy committed career suicide in 2007.

Now he's going down to 154, which should be better for him on paper, but at 160 he punched like a lightweight, so big whoop. Forrest looks like he's legitimately back on the train, but let's not go too far, huh? It's a terrible division, and his big comeback wins have come over Carlos Baldomir and Michele Piccirillo. Baldomir is a tough cat and I like him, but let's be serious. He had one great night against Zab Judah, mopped up the remains of Arturo Gatti, and has been smoked twice since then. As for Piccirillo, please, huh?

A fight with Mayorga would've been interesting, because their matchup just never made sense. How did the guy who was such a superior boxer lose two times to Mayorga? A fight with the dreaded Cory Spinks would've at least unified titles. Fighting Mora is pointless. He'll win, people will continue to say Forrest is BACK!, and I won't see the huge guff about it. I like Vernon a lot, and have ever since I watched him as Shane Mosley's kryptonite, but he's not the fighter he used to be. He's beating B-fighters and doing it with aplomb. Good for him. Crap matchup, though.

Chances that Mora beats Forrest: Better than the chances he had against Taylor or Pavlik

#4: Kelly Pavlik v. Gary Lockett

Lockett is a mandatory, and I don't hate the fight. He trains with Enzo Calzaghe, which means he's sparred with Enzo Maccarinelli and Joe Calzaghe. He's not going to be a complete bum. But the elder Calzaghe's fighters aren't exactly tearing up the scene right now. Should Lockett lose to Pavlik, and Hopkins tops Calzaghe in April, that'll make Enzo's Big Four (Joe Cool, Macca, Gavin Rees and now Lockett) a lovely 0-4 in 2008.

I have only seen a bit of Lockett. I'm not trying to dis the guy, because I couldn't tell you quite enough about him to really make that call. But his record is suspect, his No. 1 ranking by any sanctioning body is as good a reason to disregard their idiotic rankings as any, and Kelly Pavlik has the makings of a truly special fighter right now. Not only that, but I've never seen Kelly Pavlik come in without a good gameplan or taking anyone lightly, from McKart and Zertuche to Miranda and Taylor. He'll be ready to defend his crown. Lockett won't be ready for what's coming.

Chances that Lockett beats Pavlik: Maybe a little better than Mora beating Forrest

But, all that said, EVERY fighter has a chance. One single punch can change everything. As Roger Mayweather said prior to Mayweather-Hatton, the minute you totally count someone out, you risk that great upset.

None of these guys have as good of a chance as Hatton had against Mayweather, and that one was only a fool's hope.

It's fun to dream, though. Come hard, 'dogs. Who knows what could happen?

Another question: Were Forbes to beat Oscar, do you think Mayweather would then fight Forbes, excusing it as something "the people want to see"?

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