1. #1
    Illusion
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    De La Hoya not retiring ... but not fighting this year

    Oscar De La Hoya has decided not to decide, at least not yet.

    Since knocking out Ricardo Mayorga on May 6 to win a junior middleweight title, De La Hoya had been struggling to make up his mind.

    Should he walk away while on top of boxing, having scored a memorable knockout and winning his 10th world title? Or should he fight once more, a proposed Sept. 16 mega-fight against pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., the estranged son of De La Hoya's trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr.?

    Instead, De La Hoya will do neither. He isn't retiring just yet, but he isn't fighting Mayweather on Sept. 16 either.

    De La Hoya announced Wednesday that while he is postponing his retirement decision, he won't fight this fall because he could not make a clear-headed decision under the pressure of fast-approaching pay-per-view deadlines for a September bout.

    But he did suggest that a farewell fight was probable.

    "At this point I'm leaning toward not retiring," De La Hoya said on a teleconference with reporters from around the world. "I do want to fight. This is what I love."

    He just couldn't make a final decision right now.

    "After endless hours of reflecting on my decision I started to realize more and more that I put myself under tremendous pressure in order to make the pay-per-view deadlines for a Sept. 16 fight," De La Hoya said. "Obviously decision time was coming up. Yet I feel retirement is a final decision. Too many times we see fighters retiring just to come back after a few years, mostly for financial reasons and the need for the limelight and the cheers of the people. I always wanted to do the right thing. I didn't want to fall into the trap so many fighters do, that they retire and feel the urge to come back after several months or even several years.

    "When I retire it's going to be definite. When I announce my retirement it will be for sure, no ifs, ands or buts. Today is not that day. Today I want to announce I will continue to reflect on that decision. I deserve to make that decision without outside pressures. I just thought that after that great victory with Mayorga and being away for 20 months, it was too soon to make the decision," he said.

    De La Hoya, 33, left the door open for a final fight May 5, 2007 -- the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, a weekend on which De La Hoya likes to fight. He said if he does fight, he still wants to face Mayweather.

    That bout is considered, by far, the biggest fight in the sport, a surefire blockbuster capable of surpassing the hallowed 1 million buy mark on pay-per-view.

    Although De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) acknowledged that negotiations were moving along well between his Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather for the September fight, it won't happen this year.

    "I'm definitely not going to fight in September," De La Hoya said. "I just think it's too soon. Too much pressure. Obviously, I am still training every day. I am still running, doing weights, taking care of myself. I don't think I will be fighting this year. I have been known to take a year off between fights. I can do it again. I've done it in the past. I was off for 20 months prior to the Mayorga fight. The ideal date [for a farewell fight] obviously would be May."

    De La Hoya said nagging injuries are not the reason he has put off a fall fight. Among his ailments: A torn left rotator cuff, a chronically damaged left hand that requires pain shots, arthritis in both elbows, a bad back and a possible broken knuckle on his right hand, which he hurt while training for Mayorga.

    "I've had injuries throughout most of my career," De La Hoya said. "My hand, elbows, back. There are always injuries. I am not making any decisions because of injuries. I went through the pain and injuries in the training camp for Mayorga. It was tough. As an athlete, you have to dig deep down inside. I had one of my best performances of my life. I don't think injuries will play any factor in what I do. I am keeping in shape, which is the best thing I can do between fights. I can fight a few more years. I can dig deep down inside and forget the pain and just fight."

    Should De La Hoya decide to fight again in May, he said it would "absolutely" be his last bout and that it could only be against Mayweather.

    "When I decide to have my next fight, it will be Floyd Mayweather Jr.," De La Hoya said. "That's the only name that will allow me to go out there and train for three months."

    De La Hoya, who has been boxing since he was a child, won a 1992 Olympic gold medal and 10 world titles in six divisions from junior lightweight to middleweight while becoming the era's most popular fighter.

    He said simply walking away from boxing was a difficult decision to make and one that shouldn't be rushed.

    "I'm only going to retire once," he said. "For 27 years of my life I have been training and stepping in the ring. This is what I love and that is probably one of the reasons, a big reason, why I am promoting, to be near boxing. Yes, I do want to fight."

    He said if fights again and loses, it would still be the end of his career. No comebacks.

    "I am a competitor. I do have that blood in me where I have to win and be successful," he said. "But when I say I am going to retire, I am going to retire, win or lose. I am not going to fall into that trap other fighters fall into. I will outmaneuver that trap and be an example."

    The reason why he will only consider Mayweather as an opponent is because De La Hoya considers him the best fighter in the world, as do most.

    "Beating him makes me the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," De La Hoya said. "That's a little motivation there. At one point many years ago I was on top of that list for a slight moment. That's big. That's really something that gets me going. That's why Floyd would be the only one I would fight."

    And what if Mayweather should lose before May? He'll fight at least once before then, probably Nov. 4.

    De La Hoya said he was not concerned about that.

    "I just feel Floyd Jr. is such a talented fighter that I don't think anyone out there can beat him right now," he said. "I think he is so talented that he can wipe anyone out at any time. That's how talented he is. I don't think I have any worries. He knows there is a big payday out there for him. There is no Plan B."

    So when will De La Hoya make his final decision about retirement or facing Mayweather?

    "I will make a decision probably by the year's end," he said. "If it's a month, a few weeks, a few months, I just needed more time. I wanted to be enjoy being around the house and not thinking about it."

  2. #2
    moses millsap
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    Oscar wised up I see. LOL. It would have been a MASSIVE payday for both if that 9/16 slot was filled by those two.

  3. #3
    bigboydan
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    he sure the hell did pass up a massive payday alright. but, when you have as much money as he has. well, i guess it just doesn't matter.

  4. #4
    moses millsap
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    Yeah, I'd say he's set for 10 lifetimes with Golden Boy Promotions.

  5. #5
    bigboydan
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    it's just real hard to turn down that kinda money though, even when you have that much.

    i'm suprised he did to be honest with you. but, then again boxers do box til there in there 40's so the money will still be there for him.

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