Oscar De La
Hoya vs Felix Strum
June 5, 2004
watched Oscar De La Hoya get his ass kicked by Felix Strum was a witness to
what happens when advisors are afraid to be honest and just say what they
think the boss wants to hear. Oscar’s habit of using people like toilet
tissue has made those around him afraid to be honest.
They know how easily he flushes people.
How many coaches, trainers, fighters, etc. has he used, and then
discarded? One hundred, or was is
one thousand? We may never know,
now it appears his indifference has come back to haunt him. Ronald Reagan
said, “How we are remembered depends on how we keep our rendezvous with
destiny”. He might have also
said, “we are remembered by who our friends are”.
“We are remembered by how we treat people”. “We are remembered by
the kindness we displayed towards others”.
Oscar’s fight left a mighty unpleasant.
Oscar now also has a clothing line. After personally viewing his
clothes, I gotta say, it looks like he purchased excess generic brand name
sports wear form K-Mart, put his name and number on it, marked it up a
thousand percent, then sent it to Mervyns. His clothing line is cheap, poorly
designed and will probably make a profit. Hopefully, it will finally fill the
emptiness in his life. And his
endless desire for riches. There
was another man with a golden touch, at least in fables. King Madias, a king
with a magical golden touch, who accidentally turned his daughter into gold,
thereby making a statue of someone he loved. The man died alone, surrounded by
other greedy men, and lots of money.
is stacked with skeletons of the hundreds of people he¹s used, pushed aside
on just simply stepped on. I met his first coach years ago. To his credit, the
man, a well-respected coach, never uttered a word of criticism about the
Golden Boy. Even though Oscar used him to learn his trade, then dumped him.
There have been many such individuals, but in Oscar’s defense, he can always
hide behind that worn out phrase “its only business”. It would be
considered normal business, especially in boxing. To take the knowledge, which
has taken someone a lifetime to acquire, absorb it, then discard the person
who shared it with you, is normal in boxing. Old gyms are filled with the
ghosts of coaches who gave their lives to boxing and were rewarded with
betrayal, and discarded once their fighter got a taste of money, glory and the
extra benefits of being a champion. That¹s boxing in a nutshell, a sad by true statement.
after an interaction with Oscar are that he is as phony as a three-dollar
bill. He is a gifted performer who uses his appearance and boyish charm to
accomplish his objectives. He is
a well-rehearsed, practiced actor, capable of playing the role of promoter,
businessman, or any other he chooses. Any
business student could not find fault in such behavior, after all, you¹er
suppose to use the gifts God gives you. To bad Oscar never the meaning of
other values. Things like loyalty, dedication, and an obligation to repay all
the people who helped him along the way. The tendency to abuse people is not
traits normally associated with the ideal of hero. My question has always been
the same of people who have risen from obscurity and poverty, “when did you
change”, or was it that the veneer was simply fell off when having money
become normal. As disturbing as this trait is, it is not uncommon.
I have a brother who dropped the e z from his name, in order to make
himself Whiter. I am still
stunned by his self-loathing and auto discrimination. A trait not often spoken
off amongst Chicano scholars. Now
he refuses to speak to any Mexican members of the family. I avoid interacting
with him and it matters little to me that he abandoned his family, culture and
heritage. I don¹t pay a lot of
attention to what he does anymore.
I’ve learned that indifference is the opposite of love, not hate.
If it’s true we reap what we sow, if its true that what goes around,
comes around? Then, there may be a few more disappointments in store for the
Golden Boy, who uses people with the indifference of a third world tyrant.
Oscar may not be
a great human being, he may not even be a nice guy, but what ever else Oscar
may or may not be, he is still a great attraction.
Me I think Oscar is bored, too rich and is surrounded by people who
only see him as a dollar sign. They care more about what he is worth o them,
rather than as human being. AS a
sportswriter gives I come across bits of information, which give me doubt
about Oscar¹s honesty. I also
have to wonder what the hell he must be thinking. Does he really believe he
can beat Hopkins? And what are
his trainers thinking? Who in the hell did they get to spar with him in
preparation for the Strum fight? They couldn¹t have been hungry boxers
looking for a real shot. Anyone who saw the fight saw that Strum¹s punches
were rocking Oscar, who looked as pale as a flower tortilla and as fat as a
bean burrito, compared to Strum who looked like one of the warriors in the
movie Troy. He reminded me of Ben Affleck, only Strum was no turkey and Oscar
didn¹t gable, gable.
Even before the
first bell, Oscar who flashed his boyish smile and posed so expertly for the
camera seemed to lack the spark he usually possess.
He looked more like a late-night store clerk, rather than a warrior
about to enter combat. Maybe he
should give up Puerto Rican food and come back to good old Mexican cooking.
Or maybe being married to a Latin Pop singer, something he failed at,
has robbed him of the desire to fight for the mere pleasure of fighting.
Winston Churchill once said “this is not the end, it is not even the middle
of the being, it is however the being of the end”. I believe we have
witnessed the end of an era. As a
sportswriter who has spent hours watching, writing and reporting on Oscar’s
career, it brings me no pleasure to watch him crumble.
I personally would have preferred to watch him use his millions to take
up acting, producing or promoting. I
would like to see him do something for boxing, not just exploit his position
and keep taking, until time takes him.
I have no desire to watch Hopkins knock the a man I once admired and
respected. I would not hold my breath, for Bernard Hopkins, Oscar is the
golden goose and he wants to pluck it.
once a respected coach, now just another politician, made several important
observations about this fight. “Someone had to win the first rounds, and
Oscar did so”. However, for all of his combinations, he failed to score
effectively against Strum, who in my opinion seemed bemused by Oscar¹s lack
of punching power, and over all game. Thoughts of “where¹s the beef” kept
coming to me. Oscar was simply weak and no real threat to Strum.
Sadly, if Strum fights half as good as he did this last time, a rematch
would prove lethal to Oscar.
Lets pray for
Oscar. Lets hope he finds better sparring partners.
Lets hope he gets fearless advisors, people not invested in anything
other than winning the fight. Lets hope Oscar, withdraws from the fight with
Hopkins, who I predict will make a super sized meatless, burrito out of him. How much money does one man need? How greedy is greedy enough. How much Gold did King Midas
have before he learned that in the end its people who matter most.
No one is saying money is not important, of course it is, but in
Oscar’s case, he has enough to buy everyone in his family a fat retirement.
Why risk public humiliation and a royal ass whipping to boot. I’m sure his
Puerto Rican sweet thing has already squeezed him for mountains of jewelry,
several houses and at least one plastic surgery.
an optimist. I will continue to
hope Oscar De La Hoya, finally becomes the nice guy he pretends to be. I will
pray the spirit of Poncho Villa and Emiliano Zapata rekindle the fire within
him. I hope his Mexican heart is reborn, that he give up his evil ways and
just come back to being a good old fashion Mexican ass kicker.
I will light a candle to the Aztec God of War, and pray that Hopkins
does not shove Oscar’s Gold Medal where the sun don¹t sun. As I said
before, Bernard Hopkins sees Oscar, as the Golden Goose, and he plans to pluck
him in three, rock-em in five and drop in six. Once again I gotta say, Thank
God For Boxing.
I am still seeking funny
stories from any coach, trainer, promoter, ring girl, referee anywhere.
I am working on a book of boxing humor.