Friday, May 19, 2000
COLUMN: Royce Feour
De La Hoya seeks redemption
Las Vegas Review-Journal
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. -- Oscar De La Hoya and key members of his camp
agree he will be more focused and motivated when he fights undefeated Shane
Mosley on June 17 in Los Angeles.
Before nearly every fight, De La Hoya seems to promise to come out
more aggressive and be more effective. But his controversial loss to Felix
Trinidad seems to have given De La Hoya additional motivation.
"Absolutely, he lives and he learns," De La Hoya's trainer, Robert
Alcazar, said Thursday. "The Trinidad fight gave him a big lesson."
De La Hoya, who had been the World Boxing Council welterweight
champion, lost a disputed majority decision to Trinidad, the International
Boxing Federation 147-pound champion, Sept. 18 at Mandalay Bay.
De La Hoya deserved to win the decision, even though he gave away the
last three rounds by moving around the ring and staying away from Trinidad.
The loss, however unjust it may have been, took some of the luster off
the "Golden Boy," and De La Hoya would like to get it back.
"He is by far more motivated for this coming fight," Alcazar said as
De La Hoya opened his camp to media from Southern California and Las Vegas.
"He's got feelings. I can see it. What's on his mind is he wants to
knock Mosley out. No more running around -- he wants to win this fight by
Alcazar, who has been with De La Hoya since the fighter was an
amateur, said De La Hoya has more desire and concentration.
"He wants no more decisions," Alcazar said. "He says the only thing
that motivates him is a knockout."
Mosley, 34-0, is a former IBF lightweight champion who moved up two
divisions to welterweight.
"Everything starts with Trinidad," Alcazar said. "We still feel in our
hearts we won the fight. But it was a technical fight. The judges didn't
appreciate that. (De La Hoya) wants to come back with a knockout. To knock
out Shane Mosley, that is the game plan."
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum agrees that De La Hoya is zeroing in on the
Mosley fight more than other recent bouts.
"He is totally focused for this fight," Arum said. "He was totally
focused for the first (Julio Cesar) Chavez fight. He has not been totally
De La Hoya stopped Chavez in the fourth round to win the WBC super
lightweight title at Caesars Palace in 1996.
De La Hoya, 27, has had 11 fights since that time, including another
victory over Chavez.
Arum said De La Hoya wasn't properly prepared for the showdown with
"He didn't train for the Trinidad fight the way he should have," Arum
said. "That is why he fought the last two or three rounds in the Trinidad
fight the way he did. He turned an easy fight into a fairly close fight,
which allowed the judges to steal it from him."
It may seem scripted to some, but De La Hoya said he found some good
in his loss to Trinidad.
"The loss was a blessing in disguise," De La Hoya said. "It made me
realize I'm human. It made me realize I have to train hard."
He came back with a seventh-round stoppage of overmatched Derrell
Coley at Madison Square Garden in New York on Feb. 26.
Alcazar called the fight a step in the right direction.
"That was the beginning," Alcazar said. "He didn't look exactly like
we wanted. This fight, he is going to show us much more sharpness and more
concentration. This time, he will be more on track and more polished."
De La Hoya (32-1) is a 9 1/2-5 favorite at Las Vegas sports books.
Arum said he is negotiating with WBC president Jose Sulaiman to
sanction the bout as a championship fight. Otherwise, it is for a minor
title, the fledging International Boxing Association belt.
Whatever the belt situation is, De La Hoya said he's "really
motivated. I'm happy and motivated."