Oscar de la Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions have scrapped plans for boxing's biggest star to fight again on December 6, or for him to fight three times this year, as he initially planned/promised.
Instead, de la Hoya's "final fight" will be on December 6 in Las Vegas. No opponent has been named. No opponent is likely to be named any time soon, despite what CEO Richard Schaefer promised.
Most of the scuttlebutt has been about de la Hoya facing the winner of the July 26 showdown between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, even though Oscar promised his wife he could never fight another Puerto Rican, which would be the case if Cotto turned out to be the opponent.
Don't believe the hype. Ricky Hatton says he'd gladly fight Oscar in the summer of 2009. There will be others that want to fight de la Hoya, because of the paycheck he promises. And never forget how many boxers fail to lose their "competitive fire" on the first retirement. How many times did Sugar Ray Leonard come back?
I would guess that Oscar's lack of major opponents for September had something to do with this decision. With Floyd out, Cotto or Margarito unlikely to be in any shape to fight him with a two-month turnaround, and Hatton saying no, what were really Oscar's options? Shane Mosley wasn't happening, as the two are business partners, they've done it twice and there's no real demand to see it again at this stage of their careers, and they'd be forced to address the doping issue. Tito Trinidad can't make a weight that would be suitable for Oscar. Paul Williams? Not big enough, way too dangerous. Sergio Mora is being chased for a rematch by Vernon Forrest, who is threatening litigation if he tries to go in another direction.
If Cotto beats Margarito, he's a legit pound-for-pound candidate for the semi-vacant title of World's Best Boxer, and he'll also be the No. 1 welterweight in the world, unquestionably. No one else would even be close. If Oscar fights Cotto and it really turns out to be his final bout, against all odds, it would be pretty vintage Oscar: fighting the best until the very end.