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By Dan Rafael, USA TODAY
LAS VEGAS — Oscar De La Hoya, whose golden smile typically shines throughout fight week, ain't smiling much right now. Perhaps it is because reality is finally setting in that Saturday night he will walk to the MGM Grand ring as an underdog for the first time to face the stiffest test of his career, imposing undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins (No. 1 USA TODAY, 44-2-1, 31 KOs).
"I'm not thinking of anything else, because all I want is those belts," a stoic De La Hoya says. "Believe me when I tell you those belts are mine. I didn't take this fight for financial reasons. I don't need it. I took it because I can beat him."