Ring legend Oscar de La Hoya was in the UK today as part of a tornado style trip, to see and promote eight fights in the next five days, and gave his views on a multitude of upcoming fights and fighters.
Here are his thoughts:
On Himself & Promoting:
“Life as a fighter was a lot easier than as a promoter. Promoting takes a lot of your time.”
“I don’t miss getting beat upon but I miss the excitement, action, Michael Buffer announcing, and the Las Vegas atmosphere. I’m very content with what I accomplished. I eat healthy and stay pretty fit.”
On Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey:
“Manny is too fast to stay in the pocket. I think Pacquiao will have an easy time against Clottey. Manny is such a nice guy, when I faced every single champion it was difficult to find anger towards an opponent.”
On Oscar’s fight with Manny Pacquiao:
“First, I give him all the credit. He beat me hands down. Obviously I wasn’t at the peak of my career – I didn’t have the speed or the power in that division (Welterweight at the time) but I was still Oscar de la Hoya.”
On Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jnr:
“Manny Pacquiao has to beat Floyd. If Manny beats Floyd then you can regard him as one of the best in history. It’s a Top 5 fight of all-time, up there with the likes of Ali vs Frazier. Floyd is the favourite for me, he waits for mistakes and capitalises. Possibly an easy fight for Floyd.”
Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosley:
“Mosley has the best shot at beating Floyd Mayweather Jnr. There will be a KO in that fight. Mayweather is the best, purest boxer in the World today.”
On Freddie Roach:
“Roach believes in his fighters and their abilities.”
Oscar then turns his attentions to some of the UK’s top fighters.
On David Haye vs John Ruiz:
“Haye fights, great victory against Nikolai (Valuev). David Haye has to go across the pond, people (in the US) know his name and ability. He has to prove himself in Las Vegas. I believe he can do it. Ruiz will be a difficult, tough fight. He (Ruiz) doesn’t hug so much now and has starting throwing 4-5 punch combinations.”
On David Haye vs the Klitschko brothers:
“David Haye in my eyes can be the next Great Heavyweight Champion just like Lennox Lewis. Haye will beat the Klitschkos! And with a grin “possibly in the same night!”
On Ricky Hatton:
“I believe that he’s satisfied with what he’s accomplished but believes he has more to achieve. He has to ask himself – Do you respect the sport enough to comeback, I believe he doesn’t as he doesn’t train the way he should (in between fights). He has talent and youth on his side, I believe he still wants it.”
On Amir Khan vs Paulie Malignaggi:
“It’s the biggest test of his life as he’s facing Malignaggi in his backyard. It’s going to be a stern test. The loss (to Prescott) changed his career, maybe his life. I’m impressed with his work effort. A true champion is measured by how he gets off the canvas and comes back from defeat. Khan respects the sport and loves boxing. Amir has a vision to become a great Champion. You have to go to New York, Las Vegas for the mega fights. If he passes (Malignaggi) then he’s one of the best around.”
Will Khan be back in the UK fighting?
“Absolutely. I believe so, Yes.”
Oscar is now jetting back to Dallas, and I’m sure as an interested observer of events that take place on Saturday between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.