This isn't Ricardo Mayorga's cartoony trash talk. This isn't Fernando Vargas' personal slams. This isn't even Margarito's own fishnets jokes.
This is serious. Antonio Margarito is calling Oscar de la Hoya a coward, doing his best to debunk EVERY claim Oscar has made in regard to not fighting Margarito in December, and calling him out flat on the carpet.
I really do encourage you to click that link. There's too much good, interesting stuff from the Margarito camp to sum up, clip out, or even discuss too much in a watered down form here. Margarito is maybe the first fighter who I think has seriously questioned Oscar de la Hoya's heart or chutzpah.
Oscar's star has burned bright for so long for other reasons, but you can't deny that he's fought great competition. Y'know, most guys with Oscar's skills and Olympic pedigree and immense professional splashes would sit at maybe 42-2 after 44 pro fights. Why? Because they wouldn't have fought Floyd Mayweather at age 34. They certainly wouldn't have taken the risk of fighting a bigger guy like Bernard Hopkins. Shane Mosley? Maybe once, probably not twice.
I want to make clear that I believe Oscar de la Hoya is a great fighter, a legitimate Hall of Famer in every sense, and THE MAN that kept boxing alive and kicking during some bad years. He's fought the best, time after time after time. So I question a couple of decisions (Sturm, Quartey) -- so what? Most fighters do have a decision or two I question that went their way.
But Margarito and his team are laying out in great detail their position, and they're making Oscar look bad. One thing de la Hoya has never been great at dealing with is a lack of acceptance from the general audience (he hasn't had to deal with much of it, past the Mexican fans). Another is anyone making him sound like a chump -- because what if someone believes it?
Honestly, at 35 years of age, Margarito is a horrible fight for Oscar de la Hoya. If I was advising him, I would never in a million years tell him to take this fight. That's the truth. That's business. That's protecting a legacy. Because Margarito is just too big and too strong and too tough to move.
If I was advising Oscar, I'd tell him to stop being greedy, give Pacquiao the 40-60 split he wants, and take that fight. It's an absolute should-win, it'll make money despite the detractors (most of whom will order the PPV, no matter what they say), and he stands little chance of being beaten up in the fight.
But the fan in me wants to see Margarito-Oscar. I'll tell you why, too. It's because Oscar de la Hoya has been at his very best, his most destructive, when he feels legitimately slighted. I couldn't buy for a second that he had any real beef with Mayweather. But Mayorga? Vargas? Yeah, those were fights where he felt disrespected and angry. And he kicked some ass on those nights.
I don't think he could beat Margarito at this age. But I'd like to see him get down to business and try. Anyone with Oscar's skills can pull off that sort of upset on the right night.
This isn't trash talk. This is the type of real spitting that gets guys like Oscar fired up. If there is any remote chance of Oscar-Margarito, this could be the catalyst.