Those of you who have been following this column through the years probably know that Oscar de la Hoya is one of my favorite fighters. He never ducked anybody and always gave it his all. There was never a dull fight with “The Golden Boy.”
Incidentally, I share the same exact birthdate as de la Hoya, down to the year, month and day.
Strange, we are both into boxing, really. Him, the fighter, and me the scribe.
48. Since we are of the same age, I was really quite curious about how he would fare in the scheduled fight against MMA legend Vitor Belfort that was penciled for next week.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been critical of these exhibition fights that hoodwink fans into thinking they are compelling matchups. I mean, they are not for free and they are pulling in a lot of moolah just for the novelty of it.
The de la Hoya-Belfort fight is another iteration of this.
Admittedly, two retired legends from different disciplines facing off certainly raises some curiosity, but at the end of the day, I’m not one to mope about how other people spend their hard-earned money.
It’s more of personal curiosity on my part as to how much a 48-year-old who went back into training can still be effective even against an MMA fighter who will be in only his second professional boxing match at the age of 44.
This Last Rounder has been on a personal journey of sorts, trying to get back into shape and the past year, I have been quite elated about how far I have come.
In Oscar’s case, assuming he is halfway decent, I predict he will easily box circles against Belfort.
But because of Covid-19 we will never know.
COVID-19. Even though he was fully vaccinated, Oscar is down and out and will not be participating because he contracted Covid-19.
On a side note, it never ceases to amaze me how a lot of people on social media still think vaccines will prevent them from getting infected. This just illustrates why you should not get your news on social media and heaven forbid, listen to what everyone has to say. An opinion is like butthole— everybody has one, doesn’t mean you have to engage with it.
Oscar has had a well-documented affair with alcohol and drugs, and I don’t know how that affects his constitution, but let’s hope he knocks Covid-19 out and recovers fully.
As I am writing this column, news comes in that Evander Holyfield is a possible replacement and is getting cleared, health-wise. If true, that might even make it more of a mismatch.
While Holyfield is already 58, he has apparently been keeping himself in reasonable shape. Belfort last fought professionally against Lyoto Machida in 2018 and was knocked out by a kick to the face.
If “The Real Deal” reasonably gets in the vicinity of how former rival Mike Tyson looked when he fought Roy Jones Jr., then Belfort might be in for a long night.
It’s all about muscle memory. In a boxing ring, the boxer always has the advantage. And in this fight, Evander will not only enjoy that, he will also be the bigger and stronger fighter.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Jomari Gorne who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!