A Tested Will Versus The Best Of Skills

Day 19 : Another day down, and another day closer to this mega fight that we all await. Today it’s a look at the two men involved, relative to how they go about imposing their way in the ring. When two immovable objects collide two things are certain. Neither will back down, and based on that there’s bound to be an explosion. 19 days and counting…but in the interim, here we go: Oscar Dela Hoya: The “Tested Will” Oscar has been in some of the biggest wars the Boxing world has seen in the last 10 to 12 years. Going down the list of some of his more memorable wars looks like an All-Star lineup. Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas, Bernard Hopkins, and Ricardo Mayorga to name a few. The results of all of these wars varied as Oscar won some and lost some, but the one thing that remained consistent was his heart. Oscar spent many of these fights trying to live up to the hype associated with his name and not for once did he let down. Who could forget the race for the finish line against Ike Quartey where he seemed to be out of gas and somehow got an energy burst and stole (at least on the score cards) the last few rounds. If that’s not enough, remember the two showdowns with Shane Mosley where he took a lickin’ but kept on tickin’. Like him or not, Oscar Dela Hoya’s heart remains his one official ‘X-Factor’ as even when it looks like he’s down, he’s still never really out. He’s fought just about every style and type fighter known to man. Some quick and strong (Mosley), some not as quick but very strong (Trinidad), Some with a total package yet in the twilight of their career (Whitaker), etc. He’s stood toe to toe and faced practically every type of fighter the game has to render, with the exception of a perfect fighter; Or at least one that comes close….Enter…… Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The “Best Of Skills” When it comes to pure talent there have been some greats in the sport to come to mind but in this current era of Boxing there are few, (if any) fighters that still leave opposing trainers puzzled at time to gameplan. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of them. When it comes to his footwork, and speed he resembles a young Muhammad Ali, rope-a-dope style and all. When it comes to his ability to think in the ring and make in-round adjustments he tends to be more like this era’s Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. When it comes to defense, although you have a few stellar defenders like a Ronald “Winky” Wright, only James “Lights Out” Toney and Bernard Hopkins come close to his throwback style, equipped with the shoulder roll, the covering of the left side of the face when shooting the right jab and vice versa, etc. In an imperfect world Floyd Mayweather Jr. has somehow found a way to flirt with perfection, but we all know that every Superman has a hidden kryptonite. On May 5th there will be yet another contestant with his own rendition of ‘the formula’. Will it cause for a slow and painful ring death for Mayweather Jr.? Will it be potent enough to bring about a ‘sudden’ ring death for Mayweather Jr.? Or will the Mayweather ‘chemistry’ be too strong and expose the ingredients of recipe #38 as watered down? We all know 37 others were exposed. Here, you have an epic battle where a youthful highly skilled fighter is in against another highly skilled fighter with power, size, and unfortunately age as well as age. The flip side of this coin is that that highly skilled fighter with the size and power advantage has never faced a man with this type of skill set, definitely not as young. All of the questions and angles posed are good questions, but as many as they are, there’s only one way to find out. That’s pay close attention on the evening of May 5th, on HBO PPV. So for yet another day, “THE WORLD AWAITS”. Tomorrow’s Installment of the countdown to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar Dela Hoya will be day #18 and we’ll take a closer look at Floyd Mayweather Jr. in “G.O.A.T. or Hoax”?. Many have questioned whether Boxings “Pretty Boy” actually measures up. MVN will help you decide.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.