Sparring Session lasts 12!

Rafael Román Martel

Oscar De La Hoya (38-5-30KO’s) just doesn’t want to retire. Tonight he came back to HBO to fight Steve Forbes (33-5-9KO’s). Probably the most profitable boxer for the HBO sports family, Oscar’s nickname “The Golden Boy” has earned the television empire millions through the years.

De La Hoya entered the ring as a heavy favorite in a city where the most recognizable face is that of Wayne Newton. Win or lose he would retain his status in the world of boxing, but he came to win, just as he has won titles in six different divisions in a sixteen-year career.

Oscar also knows that only glory and the addiction to public adulation keeps him in a ring. Steve Forbes has never reached those heights, even though he was crowned IBF Super Featherweight against an unknown, John Brown (23-16-11KO’s), as far back as September 2001. Brown has lost his last eight fights in a row. Beating him for a title fight should be discreetly erased from your resume. Yet here he was, Steve Forbes, to do what he came to do: get a beating.

From the opening round, the Mexican-American concentrated on systematic body shots, making Forbes retreat, especially in the second part of the round. Forbes closed the last seconds with a strong right hand. De La Hoya’s jab started to make its mark in the second, closing with a sharp left that shook up his opponent.

By the fourth Forbes’s strategy included showboating and taking a shower of jabs, body shots and a couple of noticeable left hooks. Steve’s plan wasn’t working; he was losing rounds and there were no signs of Oscar losing a single round. By the fifth a bad imitation of Floyd Mayweather resulted in right hand that was felt in Miami. Things weren’t working out for the reality series star, who came out of the sixth bleeding from the right eye and unable to solve the Mexican problem at hand.

The seventh was target practice for El Niño, who almost closed the deal with Forbes, making his best punching bag impression of the night. Things got rougher in the tenth, when DLH opened up with thunderous flurries to Forbes’ head. Both fighters had worked hard and the tempo of the first ten slowed in the 11th. Forbes arrived at the last round as Oscar’s sparring partner. A tough sparring partner.

The 12th was uneventful as the fight breezed through. Another win for Oscar De La Hoya, another sparring performance for Steve Forbes.

The fight sets up DLH for a mega fight hopefully against the great Miguel Cotto. Two judges scored it 119-109 while a third 120-108.


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