Credit: Mark Vester @ BoxingScene.com
Oscar de la Hoya is denying reports that a potential deal to fight Manny Pacquiao on December 6 are over and done with, and he's also still dancing around why he won't fight Antonio Margarito.
On the topic of Margarito, the very official stance from the Golden Boy is, in fact, that he feels Margarito has unfinished business with Paul Williams, which is such a lame cop-out. I really believe this: no one would fault de la Hoya if he simply said, "I don't want to fight Margarito, he's too strong. I'm not as young as I used to be. He's a hell of a fighter and I wish him the best."
How hard is that?
Anyway, talks ARE ongoing to pit Oscar against Sergio Mora and Manny against Humberto Soto, but everyone has some problems in every regard. Mora might well lose to Vernon Forrest on September 13, and even if he wins he might need more turnaround time than three months to recover from injuries he could sustain.
As for Pacquiao-Soto, that one's difficult because HBO has no dates and Top Rank would have to take the lead in promoting the pay-per-view. Showtime and Top Rank are working on a November 1 pay-per-view headlined by Antonio Margarito. The next Saturday is Calzaghe-Jones, the 15th has Taylor-Lacy on HBO, and the 22nd has Hatton-Malignaggi on HBO. The 29th is technically "open" for right now, but there's only so much money to go around.
Oscar is continuing to pretend that Pacquiao is simply going up two weight classes, too, which is insulting to the intelligence of any boxing fan, because it either makes you think Oscar is stupid (not true) or stretching the truth horribly (true). We all know that Pacquiao going up to 147 pounds is a lot more than "two weight classes." And I've had it with Oscar citing his move up to 160 pounds to fight Bernard Hopkins -- he fought Bernard at a catchweight of 158. Oscar weighed in at 155, and Bernard at 156.
Why did Oscar make that fight a catchweight deal? Because he learned against Felix Sturm that 160 pounds was too much. Two pounds was a big deal in his mind, and he went down a full five for the bout. So this whole spiel of his about how 147 isn't so big for Manny is preposterous.
"I started my career at 130" is another line Oscar likes to use in defense of this matchup. Yeah, well, Manny started his at 106. Manny was arguably at his absolute peak ability at 130.
Going from 135 to 147 is not a big deal? OK, ask Diego Corrales, who got wiped out in his one bout at welterweight. Ask Jose Luis Castillo, who just tried welter and was beaten up by Sebastian Lujan. I know those guys were past their primes and Manny isn't, but they'd both had more than one fight at 135 pounds, too. Diego in particular was far bigger than Pacquiao.
Four inches of height. Six inches of old-timey reach. It is a physical mismatch. Oscar is a big welterweight. Manny's a sort of small lightweight.
One part of me hopes this fight does not happen. The other part of me hopes that it does, and that Pacquiao drills Oscar. I don't think he will if it does, but that's what I'll be rooting for.
All of me just hopes that everyone makes up their mind, and fast.