Oscar De La Hoya on the Mayweather-Cotto Fight: “I think it’s a 50/50 fight”

May 4, 2012 – 9:00 am by Chris Fedor

Is there anyone out there that can beat Floyd Mayweather Jr? That’s a question that fight fans have been asking for a long time. While many people in the fight game think that Manny Pacquiao has the best shot to put a blemish on Mayweather’s perfect record, the two can’t come to an agreement to make the fight a reality. That means the next fighter to get his shot to take some shine off “Money May” is Miguel Cotto this weekend. Cotto has won three straight fights and the last time he was in the ring he avenged his loss to Antonio Margarito in dominant fashion. The 31-year-old is riding a wave of confidence into Saturday night’s fight, but when it comes to beating arguably the best fighter in the sport, Cotto will need much more than confidence to get it done.

Oscar De La Hoya joined WQAM in Miami with Dan Sileo to talk about what he is doing as a promoter to help fighters, what he thinks of Floyd Mayweather Jr, on the idea that Mayweather is more talk than substance in the ring and the confidence that Miguel Cotto has coming off his most recent win over Antonio Margarito.

What he is doing as a promoter to help the fighter:

“You empower the fighter and without the fighter you have nothing. Without any athlete, in any sport, you have nothing. We try to make sure that the fighter is aware from what he’s making, we try to tell them look ‘get yourself good lawyers and good people around you because this career is not going to last forever so you might as well take advantage and do it right because I did it worng for a while.’ When I first started boxing, my first year, I learned everything and I had these managers that ripped me off because I was aware of nothing. I was in the dark for one year and after that year, got myself lawyers and the best people around me. I just opened up my eyes and I just want to help these kids out and make sure they’re well off when they’re fighting and when they retire.”

Where Floyd Mayweather ranks amongst the fighters he has faced:

“Well he definitely has got to be one of the best, top three that I’ve faced. Fighting Pernell Whitaker, fighting (Felix) Trinidad, fighting Julio Cesar Chavez and those guys are great fighters and Mayweather has got to be up there absolutely. He’s undefeated and he’s proven over and over that he is one of the best, if not the best of this era. I respect him, I respect his abilities and I respect the respect that he has for this sport. He’s doing well for himself and I’m proud to be promoting this event alongside with him. He understands the game, he understands about hard work, dedication and discipline so it’s going to be quite interesting to see what happens on Saturday and beyond. Will he ever face Pacquiao? Will he go up against the very best? It’s going to be very interesting.”

On the idea that Mayweather is not like because of how he talks and the things that he says:

“It’s all show, it’s all show. Look Mayweather is an entertainer. That’s what he is. He’s a fighter obviously but he’s an entertainer and he understands how to promote the game. You watch 24/7 on HBO and you see him talk, say all these absurd things about his opponents and it’s all show. He’s really a nice guy. The times that I have dealt with him, he comes across very nice. I think a lot of people have this idea that he’s just the worst guy ever because of TV and the media but he’s a nice guy and I have to take my hat off to him. I will tell you one thing, a lot of people want to see him lose because he’s the best. That makes him a great fighter so I think this Saturday night Miguel Cotto has a great shot. It’s going to be a great fight, I think it’s a 50/50 fight, Mayweather is going to be in great shape, Cotto is in great shape, especially after he got revenge against Antonio Margarito in their second fight so he’s full of confidence. I see this fight being a war.”

On the confidence Cotto has coming off his latest win over Antonio Margarito:

“My hat off to Miguel Cotto for taking that rematch, for accepting that rematch, for having the courage to fight Margarito once again because I will tell you any fighter out there wouldn’t do what Miguel Cotto did against Margarito because when you take a beating like that especially when Margarito maybe had those loaded gloves on, you just don’t take that rematch and you don’t want anything to do with him ever again. The fact that he did want that rematch and beat Margarito in that fashion it just shows you the character and he’s gotten back what was taken away from him. That confidence level is sky high now and it’s perfect timing. Going into this fight Saturday night he’s going to be full of confidence believing in his abilities that I can do it again. It’s going to be quite interesting. I think the first six or seven rounds Miguel Cotto has a tremendous shot at doing something that nobody has ever done. Can he stick to him game plan? Can he stay focused for the whole 12 rounds if it goes 12 rounds? We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Listen to Oscar De La Hoya on WQAM in Miami here

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