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Boxing News: De La Hoya May Not Be Retiring After All

Manny Pacquiao Oscar De La HoyaBy Eric Thomas: According to AP, Oscar De La Hoya may not be retiring after his December 6th fight with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas. Apparently, because of De La Hoya’s inability to land a big mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who retired recently, it may be a factor in keeping De La Hoya fighting on past the Pacquiao bout. Obviously, De La Hoya’s decision hinges on him being successful against the 130 pound Pacquiao and beating him in an impressive fashion. It’s unlikely that he would want to continue – or that boxing fans, for that matter – if he were to be defeated by Pacquiao.

Apart from that, De La Hoya will likely received a huge payday in his fight with Pacquiao, perhaps as much as $30 million dollars for the fight. Other than De La Hoya holding out for the slim chance that Mayweather may want to make a comeback in 2009, there’s few other opponents for De La Hoya to fight, aside from Ricky Hatton or a rematch with Pacquiao, if the fight turns out to be close or exciting enough to call for a rematch.

An ideal fight would be with top welterweights like Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto or Paul Williams, but I can’t see that ever happening. De La Hoya wants to finish his career in the vertical position and a fight against any one of those boxers would entail that De La Hoya finish in the horizontal position, likely battered and bleeding badly.

A fight against Joe Calzaghe, a fighter with zero power, would be even better than a fight with Pacquiao or the aforementioned Cotto, Williams and Margarito, because Calzaghe can’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag and it would be a winnable fight for De La Hoya. After seeing how well his Golden Boy Promotions partner Bernard Hopkins did against Calzaghe, De La Hoya has to be licking his chops and mentally counting the money that could be made in a fight against the fighter from Wales.

Calzaghe has said that his fight with 39 year-old Roy Jones Jr. will be the final bout of his career. However, I’m willing to bet that if De La Hoya waives some big dollar figures under the snoot of Calzaghe, he’ll go for it like fish for water. Calzaghe is on the farewell run of his career and wants to get as much loot as he can – with minimal risk – before he gets out of the sport for good. I can see him postponing his plans for retirement, just like Oscar, if he gets an offer that he can’t refuse.

Calzaghe would probably love it as well, because like Oscar, he wouldn’t have to worry about getting hit with any kind of real big shots that he’s not accustomed to taking from the bigger super middleweights. Calzaghe would have a big size advantage over the 154 pound De La Hoya, giving Oscar a taste of his own medicine by setting him up with a slight mismatch in size. De La Hoya has some power, but not the kind that would worry a fighter like Calzaghe, making the fight come down to whoever can land the most shots.

This is the type of fight that both De La Hoya and Calzaghe thrive on and it would make for an exciting bout, much more so than De La Hoya’s upcoming bout with the much smaller Pacquiao. At the same time, it would allow De La Hoya to retire with some dignity – whether he wins or loses – as the boxing fans would respect him much more for ending his career against a bigger fighter like Calzaghe.

Though, I can see De La Hoya sticking around for a fight or two after that against fighters like Roy Jones Jr., Felix Trinidad or Fernando Vargas, and even Mayweather Jr., if he gets bored and decides he wants one last payday himself.

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