Friday, May 19, 2000
Oscar's restored outlook
Oscar De La Hoya is relying on conditioning to provide confidence for his
fight with Shane Mosley.
By Kevin Iole, Las Vegas Review-Journal
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. -- It was a fight he appeared to be winning,
rather easily. For eight rounds, Oscar De La Hoya was having his way with
Felix Trinidad and seemed on the way to a shockingly simple victory Sept. 18
in what was billed as the "Fight of the Millennium."
A funny thing happened to De La Hoya on the way to that triumph,
"I lost my confidence," De La Hoya said Thursday.
De La Hoya, who will fight Shane Mosley on June 17 at Los Angeles'
Staples Center in a welterweight championship match that figures to be a
superb bout, said his conditioning let him down against Trinidad, something
he won't let happen against Mosley.
"I think (the confidence went) because of the conditioning," said De
La Hoya, who will earn a guarantee of $8 million against Mosley.
"I didn't feel I had enough conditioning to stay in there with him. I
didn't feel the confidence to stay in there and bang with him. In the back
of my mind, I was always thinking, `I'm going to get tired. I'm going to get
tired. He might catch me with a good shot.' He does hit hard."
De La Hoya said he twisted an ankle a week before the fight, came down
with a mild case of the flu a few days before the bout and had problems with
his left hand throughout his training camp.
He said he had worked hard in preparation for the Trinidad fight, but
lost the edge he had gained because of the series of maladies that beset him
in the final week.
In preparing for Mosley, 34-0 with 32 knockouts, De La Hoya is going a
step further. He is going to bed early -- usually about 9 p.m., he said --
and waking at 6 a.m. for a run up the side of a mountain.
It is a fitness program followed by the late NFL Hall of Famer Walter
Payton and San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice, two of the
best-conditioned athletes to play in the NFL.
De La Hoya said that even though Trinidad clearly possesses a big-time
wallop, he wasn't fearful of the Puerto Rican's power. He just didn't have
the stamina, he said, to do what had to be done.
"I think anybody who steps into the ring has heart; let's put it that
way," De La Hoya said.
"Stepping inside a ring is probably the toughest job that anybody will
ever have. Being scared of getting hit was not the case because I wouldn't
be in this business (if it were). It was just a lack of confidence, a lack
De La Hoya said he will do everything necessary to be prepared for
Mosley. Mosley's father, Jack, said Wednesday that De La Hoya has extended
the whatever-it-takes philosophy to include spying, accusing the De La Hoya
camp of sending someone to videotape Mosley's workout.
De La Hoya grinned but said he had no knowledge of the incident.
"I know that has been done in boxing before, but I don't think we did
that," De La Hoya said.
He said he doesn't care what Mosley is working on anyway.
"I'm just going to prepare for what I want to do and let him adjust to
me," De La Hoya said.