by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com
CARSON – The “Homecoming” festivities at the Home Depot Center last weekend did not disappoint Oscar De La Hoya’s fans.
In front of 27,000 people and millions of viewers at home, the Golden Boy out-boxed, and out-hustled underdog Steve Forbes of the Contender series. De La Hoya used his comparative size advantage to win a near unanimous decision against Forbes.
Judge Max DeLuca and Marty Sammon scored the bout 119-109 and Marcos Rosales scored the bout 120-108.
The match sets up De La Hoya’s fight against the “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and another big payday for both fighters. Their last match hit a record 2.15 million pay-per-views buys and $120 million in revenue.
The question still lies — who will the Golden Boy be contending with after Mayweather Jr.? De La Hoya and the rest of Golden Boy, including CEO Richard Schaeffer are adamant that this is De La Hoya’s last year in boxing.
Negotiations are already underway for the Mayweather Jr. match, slated possibly sometime in September.
There have been rumors since late last year, that Manny Pacquiao could be De La Hoya’s last foe at a possible December date. Top Rank President Bob Arum, in an interview with Inquirer.net last year, said that it would be a “dream fight.”
Golden Boy off to the Philippines?
Fresh from co-promoting the Gerry Penalosa title defense fight last April, Golden Boy Promotions Vice President Eric Gomez said they look forward to coming back to the Philippines.
“We had such a good time there,” said Gomez to the Asian Journal before the start of the De La Hoya vs. Forbes match.
The recent trip to the Philippines was Golden Boy’s first co-promoting venture in the country. Golden Boy co-promoted “Invasion: Philippines vs. The World” at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City event with ABS-CBN. Gomez said the box office ticket sales were great. He estimated that about 5,000 people packed the arena.
“We were happy with the outcome, considering that it was a Sunday,” he said. “We had incredible ratings, the people came out, and more people watched online from around the world.”
Gomez said that he was impressed with the three main Pinoy fighters in the undercard, specifically AJ “Bazooka” Banal.
Banal (17-0-1 13 KO’s) defeated Caril Herrera of Uruguay by TKO in Round 4. Banal threw a wicked right and left hook combination to the head of Herrera causing the latter to stagger to the ropes. The referee stepped in to stop the fight.
“It’s hard to gauge where AJ’s at because he just defeated the No. 1 guy in his division,” said Gomez. “We’re not going to rush him and make the same mistake we did with [Rey] Bautista. He’s only 19-years-old. He’s so young and so good. We want to be very, very careful. The plan is to take it slow with him.”
Gomez said that FilAm fight fans would have a chance to see Banal in action in the undercard of the De La Hoya vs. Mayweather matchup in September.
“Boom Boom” Bautista
Gomez also spoke highly of Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista’s most recent win also during the Invasion: Philippines undercard. Bautista defeated Genaro Camargo of Mexico and displayed a lot of punching power. He knocked down Genaro twice in the first round before finishing him off in the second round.
“He’s boxing more.He’s not as aggressive he was before… I still think he needs a couple more tune-up fights before another match with [WBO Champion Daniel] Ponce De Leon,” said Gomez.
Golden Boy, disappointed
Gomez expressed disappointment that the Top Rank President Bob Arum decided to forego an immediate Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III re-match, opting instead to put Pacquiao on a fight against another Mexican, WBC Lightweight Champion David Diaz of Chicago, Il.
“I mean obviously we would have liked the re-match to be with Marquez because we think that’s what the boxing public wants,” said Gomez. “Marquez received a warm reception when he was in the Philippines. And many people approached him and said that he won the fight over Pacquiao,” he further added.