Mayweather Took On De La Hoya
On May 5, 2007, Floyd Mayweather became a name that not only boxing fans began to hate, but folks who normally wouldn’t be watching began to hate as well.
He took on Oscar De La Hoya for the World Boxing Council (WBC) light middleweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but some of the moments leading up to this fight are some of the best that boxing has been trying to replicate ever since.
For those who have forgotten, billed “As The World Awaits“, the build-up before the fight had was some of the best trash talking you’ll ever hear in boxing. For instance, you’ll have to hear the heat he laid on De La Hoya at one of these conferences.
Normally, nothing happens or is said of interest at these events, but when he said barking back at hecklers in the crowd, “I got rocked by all 37, but they all came up short”, referring to his undefeated record at 37-0 at the time, you just know that this was going to be fun.
If that wasn’t enough for you, premium cable channel HBO, which was presenting the pay per view aired “De La Hoya-Mayweather 24/7” which aired in four parts chronicling each fighters training camp leading up to the fight. The series was airing on Sundays along with the networks highest rated shows “Entourage” and the last season of “The Sopranos”.
The villainy of Mayweather didn’t stop there, as even before the opening bell against the backdrop of Cinco de Mayo, Mayweather taunted the De La Hoya crowd of Latian fans by displaying into the ring shorts that showed the red, white and green colors of the Mexican flag.
De La Hoya’s storied career was winding down at this point as he was fighting for only the third time in 32 months and honestly, was used to this sort of verbal abuse as he had heard worse from Ricardo Mayorga, who he took the WBC title that was on the line from by stopping him in the sixth round.
Hear our insider Dan Rafael, who was ringside for Mayweather-De La Hoya on our “Big Fight Weekend” Podcast by clicking below.
Once the bell rang, Mayweather began what would be for the story seen for all thirty-five minutes out of thirty-six minutes of the fight which was Floyd being the object that was hard to keep up with as De La Hoya spent the time adjusting to the speed of the quicker Mayweather behind a pro-De La Hoya crowd.
Mayweather throughout the fight was the less active fighter landing only 481 punches compared to 587 for Oscar but was landing at a 43 percent clip of his total punches only to De La Hoya’s 21 percent. This of course during the broadcast earned the disdain of HBO announcer Larry Merchant who referred to Mayweather as a “defensive genius” in the sixth round and was questioning his output in the later rounds.
After 12 rounds of this contest, it went to the judges with judges Jerry Roth (115–113) and Chuck Giampa (116–112) awarding the fight for Mayweather, while judge Tom Kaczmarek had De La Hoya winning, 115–113.
The close fought match would be the only one of its kind as Mayweather announced the first of many retirements shortly after halting any form of a rematch between the two. It did, however, break records at the time as it set the most PPV buys for a boxing match with 2.4 million households and generating around $136 million dollars in revenue. It also notes mentioning that De La Hoya, who lost the decision, didn’t lose the fight earings as he earned $52 million for a fight purse which is the most ever for a fighter. Mayweather for his purse had earned $26 million.
If you haven’t seen the fight that made Floyd Mayweather the household name amongst casual fans of boxing, feel free to take a look back at this fight here.