With the notable exception of the backstage antics here at The Phanatic, boxing -- despite its declining popularity -- is still the greatest soap opera in sports.
When it’s clicking -- the sweet science is as engrossing as it gets.
And the upcoming Floyd Mayweather Jr. - Oscar De La Hoya bout for the WBC light-middleweight championship has got it all.
A great fighter (Mayweather) takes on a legend (De La Hoya) with a back-story worthy of Shakespeare.
It all started eight years ago when Mayweather fired his trainer. That may not seem like an earth-shattering development in the boxing world until you realize the mentor in question was his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr.
The Pretty Boy’s old man didn’t stay unemployed long, however. De La Hoya convinced Mayweather Sr. to join his team and Daddy had been in the Golden Boy’s corner since 2001.
Despite being summarily dismissed by his son, Floyd Sr. did remain loyal and often said he would not train anyone to fight his son. Blood was thicker than ego for Mayweather Sr. despite the icy relationship that existed with his progeny.
In Floyd Sr.'s world, money trumps blood.
Mayweather Sr. has asked for a cool two million dollars to train De La Hoya against his son.
"I'm not interested in no 500,000 dollars offer and I'm not into no 500,000 with (a bonus) 500,000 for when Oscar gets the victory,” Mayweather Sr. told boxing website secondsout.com.
"I asked for two million dollars because that's what it will take for me to do this thing and 500,000 plus another 500,000 is just one million. I said two million and I meant two million.”
With Mayweather’s father on hand or not -- most in boxing feel De La Hoya is fighting a losing battle. Floyd Jr. is universally regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world while De La Hoya, despite his transcendent popularity, has looked pedestrian in losses to fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley.
Despite those odds, Mayweather Sr. believes he is the man to lead Oscar to a stunning upset.
"Oscar can win, will win, but only with me with him," Floyd Sr. said. “It sounds a (simple) plan but only I can teach Oscar how to do it.”
“It is this - Little Floyd doesn't have twelve full rounds in his hands. His fists hurt too bad if he throws too much. He can't use his hands for three minutes a round without them swelling up. It sounds easy, but Oscar has to make Floyd throw and then block those shots at the same time as getting through himself. Only I can get Oscar to do all that. Without me Oscar don't have no plan to really win this thing."
Perhaps -- until Floyd Sr. just gave it to him at a drastically reduced price.
In boxing -- evidently stupidity trumps money, ego and blood.
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