posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 12:29 PM
Oscar De La Hoya has opted not to accept a challenge by lightweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. because the super welterweight champion has "nothing
Top Rank president Bob Arum, who promotes both boxers, said he still thinks the fight might happen in 2004.
Arum predicts the bout would be a box-office hit because Mayweather's estranged father, Floyd Sr., is De La Hoya's trainer. Also, Mayweather Jr. has
been envious of the attention and high purses paid to De La Hoya.
Arum said that when Mayweather Jr. broached the idea, he was immediately in favor of it. "They'll write books about this," Arum said.
However, De La Hoya said he views the fight as a no-win situation and will look to arrange a bout with undisputed middleweight champion Bernard
"No, no, no. I'm not fighting Mayweather. Forget it," De La Hoya said. "Nothing at all against Floyd. It's just that, what do I have to gain with a
fight like that? I have nothing to gain.
"Imagine what would happen. If I knocked him out, everybody would say, `Big deal, Oscar knocked out a lightweight.' And if he made it a good fight, it
would be like, `Look at what this little guy is doing to Oscar.' There's no way I could win in that situation."
However, Arum said De La Hoya has been flip-flopping and eventually will accept the bout. He said De La Hoya needs to win his next two fights, against
Yory Boy Campas on May 3 at Mandalay Bay and against Shane Mosley on Sept. 13 at the MGM Grand, before worrying about Mayweather.
If that happens, Arum said he'll push for a May 2004 fight against Mayweather.
"Let's let this thing play out," Arum said. "One of my major priorities is to make that fight happen. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I'm very
Mayweather Jr. said De La Hoya would make more money fighting him than for fights against Mosley or Fernando Vargas. Mayweather said he thinks his
father has advised De La Hoya to refuse the bout and said De La Hoya knows he won't win.
De La Hoya is guaranteed $12 million plus a percentage of the pay-per-view revenue for his upcoming Mosley fight.
"If they would scoop out eight figures for me to fight a smaller man, I'd be on that right away because it's easy work," Mayweather Jr. said. "I've
told you before that deep in his heart, Oscar knows he can't beat me. My father doesn't want the fight and I'm sure he's been in Oscar's ear. But
that's OK with me, because he's with Oscar and Oscar is paying his bills.
"My father knows I can beat Oscar. He's told me that many times. Oscar says he's a businessman and if he can make more fighting me than anyone else,
why not? Let's do it."
[Edited on 17-4-2003 by Ocelot]