April 6, 2007

Golden Boy vs. Pretty Boy Who Will Be The Man?

Part Three: Ten Similarities Between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

By Greg Goodrich
BOXING PRESS
Editor in Chief

Rarely have two professional boxers had as much in common as Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and at the same time, been so completely different as persons who ply their trade inside the squared circle. That much is self evident as to the way that they conduct themselves outside the ring as well. De La Hoya is quiet, reserved, polished and media savvy; May-weather, Jr. is loquacious, outspoken, crude and often-times his own worst enemy. However, they are making quite a team in promoting their upcoming May 5th WBC Jr. Middleweight title fight... The World Awaits!

1. Both fighters are former Olympic boxing champions. 

  Oscar de la Hoya was the 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. won a Featherweight Bronze Medal at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Both fighters started their professional careers at jr. lightweight or the 130 pound division- and won by knockout.

Oscar de la Hoya turned pro on November 23, 1992 against Lamar Williams, winning by 1st round KO. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. turned pro on October 11, 1996 against Roberto Apodaca, winning by 2nd round TKO. DLH weighed 133; and Mayweather 131.

3. Both fighters were trained by Floyd Mayweather, Sr. 

Oscar de la Hoya was trained by Floyd, Sr. from 2002 until 2007. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was trained by Floyd, Sr. in 1996 and briefly in 1997 and again in 2007. 

4. Both have won titles in the same, exact weight classes, progressing upward.

  Oscar de la Hoya first won a title at jr. lightweight, then lightweight, next jr. welterweight, then welterweight before he moved up to win a title a jr. middleweight and middleweight.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. won his first title at jr. lightweight, then moved up to lightweight, next jr. welterweight and then welterweight. He now is challenging DLH for his jr. middleweight title, and may very well move up in weight to face a middleweight champion.

5. Both are currently champions.

  Oscar de la Hoya is the reigning and defending two-time WBC Jr. Middleweight champion. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is the WBC, IBA Welterweight champion.

6. Both have fought the same fighters, and stopped each of them via technical knockout.

  De la Hoya beat Angelo Nuneo by 4th round TKO; Mayweather, Jr. beat him by 3rd round TKO. De La Hoya beat Genaro Hernandez by 6th round TKO; Mayweather, Jr. beat him by 8th round TKO. De La Hoya beat Arturo Gatti by 5th round TKO; Mayweather, Jr. beat him by 6th round TKO. That is about as close as it gets in measuring who holds the match-up advantage. 

7. Both were born in February, in the 70’s.

Oscar de la Hoya was born February 4, 1973; Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on February 24, 1977.

8. Both have comparable knockout ratios, and similar stats.

De La Hoya has fought 42 times, posting 38 victories against 4 losses. In the process, 31 bouts have ended in knockout, with 11 going the distance.

Five out of his first six bouts ended in stoppages, as did fifteen out of his first sixteen and twenty out of his first twenty two. He was a much stronger fighter at and under 140 pounds than he has proven to be above 147 and topping out at 160.

Similarly, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has fought 37 times without a loss. Out of those victories, 24 were stoppages and the other 13 went the distance. 

9. Both won titles early in their careers and have a majority of championship bouts among their fight ledgers.

Oscar de la Hoya won his first title in only his 12th professional bout against Jimmi Bredahl. Out of his 42 bouts, 23 have been against other world champions. Amazingly, 29 of his bouts have been title fights, as opposed to only 13 non-title tussles.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. won his first title in his 18th professional bout against Genaro Hernandez. Out of his 37 bouts, 11 have been against former and/or current world champions- of which he defeated all of them, generally in dominant, clear and convincing fashion.

10. Both have generally defeated World Champions and not just belt-holders and fringe titlists to claim their championships.

Oscar de la Hoya has won major sanctioning title belts in six different weight divisions, beginning with jr. lightweight (130 pounds) and ending at middleweight (160 pounds). He beat Jimmi Bredahl for the WBO Jr. Lightweight title in 1994. He beat Jorge Paez for the WBO Lightweight title in 1994 and Rafael Ruelas in 1995 for the IBF Lightweight title. He then moved up in weight and beat Julio Cesar Chavez for the WBC Jr. Welterweight title in 1996. He moved up in weight again and beat Pernell Whitaker the defending WBC Welterweight champion- in 1997. In the span of four years, De La Hoya met and/or defeated every top ten contender and three of the four major sanctioning body titlists, in a murderous row.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. won the WBC Jr. Lightweight title against Genaro Hernandez in 1998. He immediately defeated the number one contender Angel Manfredy, who had defeated Arturo Gatti and Ivan Robinson. In 2001, May-weather, Jr. also defeated the former IBF Jr. Lightweight champion Diego Corrales; and two future IBF and WBC Lightweight (and Jr. Lightweight) champions in Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hern-andez. Mayweather, Jr. won the WBC Lightweight title in 2002 from the World Champion Jose Luis Castillo. He beat him again in the rematch. Like De La Hoya, Mayweather, Jr. also won a title against a living legend, but fighter past his prime, in claiming Arturo Gatti’s WBC Jr. Welterweight title in 2005.

In 2006, Mayweather, Jr. won the IBF Welterweight title from Zab Judah, and the World WBC, IBO, IBA Welterweight titles from Carlos Baldomir. Both de la Hoya and Mayweather, Jr. have proven an altruism time after time- the cream always reaches the top. Let’s hope that can whip up something spectacular. 

Part Four to Follow: Styles of Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

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