Can I be honest with you guys? Of course I can.
I am sick to death of Oscar de la Hoya.
This isn't going to be your standard Oscar-bashing thing where someone tries to discredit his status as a shoo-in Hall of Famer or anything like that. I respect the hell out of Oscar as a fighter; he fought great opposition, and he usually lost. He could've fought mid-tier guys who were clearly overmatched and won, but he didn't go that route, at least not until this year when he offered up that sham fight against Steve Forbes as a "special gift" to all of his fans, live on HBO, with really terrible tickets for prices as low as still too much!
Oscar is saying that if he does fight Manny Pacquiao, that this will be PERSONAL. First of all, shut up. It will not. Remember on 24/7 when Oscar was trying to be a tough guy toward Mayweather. "You wanna talk trash?" Then he'd make his face and, like, punch a bag?
It was so laughably corny, so obviously fake, so freaking Land of Make Believe that I still can't get the image of it out of my head. It would've been bad acting on any given episode of WWE Raw.
It's always personal for Oscar. Everyone always insults his great name and his wonderful legacy and his status as a demi-God within our ranks. I believed it with Vargas. I believed it with Mayorga, who would test the patience of a saint. But Floyd? Not so much. And Manny? Come on.
Yeah, it's going to be personal, because Oscar and his briefcase full of cash didn't manage to get Manny on the Golden Boy roster, one of the downright shadiest moves of Oscar's pro career.
And going back to pro wrestling, Oscar has a habit of being very, very Hulk Hogan-ish. Hogan to this day will claim that he lifted Andre the Giant over his head in front of 93,000 at the Silverdome for WrestleMania III, and you can feel Hogan wanting to say he slammed him so hard that the earth literally opened up and Andre the Giant fell to the planet's core. If you have a clue of what I'm talking about, you are quite aware that the slam was impressive only because Andre was so big. Hogan certainly didn't get him up over his head.
Oscar says now that the Pacquiao/Roach "calling out" situation that's brewing reminds him of when Bernard Hopkins called him out. To quote de la Hoya: "I remember when Bernard Hopkins was challenging me, and at that time I was a welterweight and he was fighting as a light heavyweight."
Well, sure. Except Hopkins didn't fight as a light heavyweight until 2006, and had been campaigning at middleweight his entire career when Oscar fought him. What good does that lie do him?
It's not that I hate Oscar. Like I said, I've got a great amount of respect for him, and boxing owes him a LOT. Without Oscar, I don't know where the sport is today. He carried it through some very dark times. When the heavyweights crumbled, Oscar was still there doing major business, every fight. He's been a great asset for the sport.
But he's past it. I'll wish him a fond farewell should he actually retire (or whenever he really retires), but it'll also feel sort of past due. It's been a long time since Oscar was anything more than a special attraction fighter, which is really the route he's going to go for his final fight, be it against Pacquiao (the intrigue there is obvious), Sergio Mora (the battle of Los Angeles!), Tito Trinidad (to settle the score!) or Shane Mosley (good friends, better enemies!).
And this time, it'll be personal.