Nominating selves for Oscar
By Bernard Fernandez
Philadelphia Daily News
August 21, 2001
LIKE MEMBERS of the Screen Actors Guild, certain fighters aspire to an
Well, not exactly an Oscar. The Oscar. As in Oscar De La Hoya.
Philadelphia's best-known fighters, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins and
David Reid, have expressed a strong interest in taking on the "Golden Boy,"
and the sooner the better.
"Forget Roy," Hopkins (39-2-1, 28 KOs), the IBF/WBC middleweight champion,
said of the widely held assumption that the survivor of his Sept. 15
unification showdown with WBA middleweight titlist Felix Trinidad (40-0, 33
KOs) is committed to a catchweight bout with undisputed light-heavyweight
champ Roy Jones Jr. (45-1, 36 KOs). "What has Roy done lately to deserve to
fight the winner of this [middleweight unification] tournament?
"Oscar deserves to fight me for the undisputed middleweight championship of
the world. Why? Because he didn't have to fight Sugar Shane Mosley. He
didn't have to fight Trinidad. He has a history of fighting the best, so he
deserves to fight the best.
"I told Lou DiBella [Hopkins' adviser] and some of [promoter] Don King's
people that my first choice after I beat Trinidad is De La Hoya. There is
nothing in my contract with King that states I am obligated to fight Roy
Jones - not after the tournament, not next year, not any time.
"Roy had his chance to fight me earlier this year, but he came up with all
kinds of excuses not to do it. I don't dance to Roy Jones' tune. HBO might
have plans for Roy and the winner of the tournament, but I don't care about
that. I have plans of my own. Let [Jones] wait for a change. See how he
Reid (17-1, 7 KOs), the former WBA super welterweight champion, might not be
able to provide De La Hoya with as enticing a lure as the undisputed
middleweight title Hopkins hopes to dangle in front of him, but he has his
own bartering chip. Reid was unimpressive in his last three outings and has
not scored a knockout victory in eight bouts over three years, but was the
only American gold medalist in boxing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. De La
Hoya (34-2, 27 KOs), the WBC super welterweight champ, was the sole U.S.
gold medalist in boxing at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
"It's always been in my mind," Reid said of a possible faceoff with De La
Hoya. "Me being an Olympic gold medalist and him being an Olympic gold
medalist, that fight is a natural."
Reid, who has moved up from 154 pounds to 160 and then 168 - super
middleweight - in his most recent bout, a unanimous decision over Maurice
Brantley, has said he would trim down if necessary to secure a megabucks
matchup with De La Hoya.
"For that kind of money, I could get down to 154 again," Reid said.
De La Hoya has said he wants to concentrate on big fights, and he identified
Trinidad and Mosley (37-0, 34 KOs) - both of whom hold points victories over
him - and former IBF junior middleweight champ Fernando Vargas as his
De La Hoya agreed to a bout with Vargas (21-1, 19 KOs) that would have paid
him $12 million, then reneged when the WBC threatened to strip him if he
didn't defend against mandatory challenger Roman Karmazin (28-0-1, 18 KOs),
of Russia. De La Hoya would be lucky to make half as much for a pairing with
the unknown Karmazin as he would with Vargas, a fellow Southern Californian
with whom he has had a running feud for years.
Some have speculated that De La Hoya, with two losses in his last four
fights, might hesitate to fight someone with a legitimate chance of beating
If that is the case, De La Hoya likely would take a longer look at Reid, who
is seen as less dangerous than Hopkins, particularly if Hopkins upsets
Reid hopes De La Hoya sells him short, if that is what is required to make
"If Oscar thinks he'd have an easy time with me, he's in for a big
surprise," Reid said.
Trinidad, incidentally, said he is eager to square off against Jones should
he get past Hopkins.
"Jones is fast and strong, but I see a lot of defects in his technique,"
Trinidad said. "At 168 pounds, I'm going to be stronger than ever, stronger
than him, and when I start landing punches he is not going to know what to
Not surprising, Jones - who outpointed Hopkins on May 22, 1993 -
acknowledged hoping Trinidad emerges victorious on Sept. 15.
It's a Philly thing
Felix Trinidad, the Puerto Rican national hero who never competed in the
Olympics, has made a big deal out of his victories over American gold
medalists Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya and David Reid.
Bernard Hopkins also has no Olympic pedigree, but he said he will not allow
"Tito" to run his record to 3-0 against opponents in a lesser known
"Trinidad likes to brag about beating all those Olympic gold medalists, but
he won't be able to brag about going 3-0 against Philadelphia fighters,"
"He beat one Philly fighter ["Rockin' " Rodney Moore] who was near the end
of his career and another [Reid] who was thrown into a situation before he
was ready to handle it. But I'm one Philly fighter who is still at the top
of his game."
Trinidad stopped Moore in four rounds on Feb. 10, 1996, and floored Reid
four times en route to a onesided unanimous decision on March 3, 2000.