Margarito Lobbies Venemously For De La Hoya, While Oscar Turns To Mora

Oscar De La Hoya has indulged in a “this time, it’s personal” kick from from time to time, even on the flimsiest of excuses, like the kind he used as a motive to fight Manny Pacquiao, back when that fight looked like it was going to happen. Antonio Margarito, dead set on getting personal to lure De La Hoya into a fight– really personal, downright mean personal, like “alluding to a salacious saga in your recent bedroom history” personal — is probably still not going to get that fight. No, it looks like Sergio Mora will. Unless he loses his next fight, which is a distinct possibility.
This De La Hoya soap opera of the Infinite Final Opponent Search has been running since toward the beginning of the year, and were it not occasionally very interesting, it would be very tiresome.
The latest episodes:
–Margarito, fresh off his welterweight (147 lbs.) beatdown of Miguel Cotto, desperately wants to get a shot at De La Hoya. ESPN’s Dan Rafael recently called Margarito “a great guy” or “a good guy;” I can’t remember which, because for some reason his pound-for-pound list has reverted to an older edition. I have no cause to doubt it, but he’s certainly stretching the boundaries of great guyness with remarks like this, through his co-manager, Sergio Diaz: “He can wear head-gear. Margarito can wear 14-ounce gloves. Whatever he wants to avoid getting hurt. Margarito told me that what Oscar needs to do is take off the fishnets that he still wears underneath his clothes, step up and become a man by accepting the fight. If he wants, he can fight with the fishnets. What ever he wants to get the fight done.” Yikes. That fishnet thing, of course, is a rather tasteless reference to what I (and others) believe to be faked photos on the Internet of De La Hoya wearing all manner of female lingerie. Sounds like to me Margarito’s fishing for a De La Hoya fight by offering the richest fish of them all some rather personal bait, since, as I mentioned before, it doesn’t take much for De La Hoya to make a fight “personal.” Which is more personal: ex-De La Hoya trainer and current Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach dissing De La Hoya’s inability to get punches off at his age and Pacquiao walking away from a briefcase full of cash for a promotional deal with De La Hoya’s Golden Boy company, or Margarito commenting on De La Hoya’s alleged bedroom habits? I bet it doesn’t work. De La Hoya apparently has no interest in fighting Margarito, none at all.
–At least De La Hoya¬† is looking at fighting someone his own size next time out. After originally considering the 135-pound Pacquiao for his retirement fight, De La Hoya is now turning his attention to Sergio Mora, recent winner of a 154-pound belt and the winner of the first season of “The Contender,” back when it was on NBC. This isn’t especially soap opera-y in and of itself, but the potential’s there. Mora has a rematch clause he has to submit to, courtesy the contract he signed with Vernon Forrest before beating him and taking his title. Mora took over that fight fairly decisively toward the end, but Forrest looked good early, and Forrest is saying he wasn’t in the best condition the first time around. It’s not a sure thing at all that Mora wins the rematch. And what does that leave De La Hoya? The De La Hoya-Mora contract is said to be contingent on a Mora victory over Forrest in September. If Mora doesn’t win, it’s back to the Infinite Final Opponent Search. Tune in next month!

About Tim Starks

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