qvFeature


All About Oscar
The Golden Boy, one of the most successful boxers of all time, talks about his controversial fight with Felix Trinidad, his future plans, and his QV fans!
Report and photography by Eddie Sakaki

Oscar de la HoyaOn February 26. 2000 Oscar de la Hoya defeated boxer Derrell Coley with a spectacular seventh round knockout. It was Oscar's first fight since his controversial loss to Felix "Tito" Trinidad last September in Las Vegas. qvMagazine talked to both Oscar de la Hoya, and his manager, Roberto Alcazar, about Oscar's first loss and asked them their take on what happened that night.

How do you feel about the Trinidad fight? "I know that a lot of people said that I didn't use enough pressure or that I didn't throw a lot of punches, but I ask, "What did Trinidad do?" He did nothing. Roberto Alcazar told me that Tito's physique wasn't strong and that he walked like Rafael Ruelas because he doesn't know how to walk in the ring. His balance isn't right. He has a heavy hook but he is not stronger than Ike Quartey, who I consider the most complete boxer and who throws a lot of combinations."

Do you think that the fight was fixed by Don King? That's what I was thinking, because whenever Don King is involved, decisions always become controversial. I know boxing is a business, but with this fight, the promoters were already thinking about a rematch. It happened to Sugar Ray Leonard and Mohammed Ali, and now it has happened to me.

Were you immediately aware when you broke Trinidad's nose? Yes, and I knew he was going to have problems breathing.

Are you going to go for a knockout if there's a rematch? I'm going to throw more combinations. The knockout will come by itself.

I ask about the knockout because there has been a lot of criticism because you didn't try to knockout Tito. It's the first time I'd done that in a while, and yes, there was a lot of criticism in regards to the strategy of the fight, but I wasn't about to change that strategy for anything. I was convinced that I could win him at boxing. There was a lot of criticism because I didn't remain in front of Tito to fight him, but that wasn't the plan.

Is it true that Tito congratulated you as soon as the fight was over? Yes, right after the fight. And he knew, everybody knew. And when the decision was announced (that I lost), Don King told me, "You see, you need a better promoter."

So you were surprised by the outcome? Not too much because Don King came to mind.

Do you still want to conquer seven world titles? My career will continue, and I don't feel like I've lost. I don't feel bad or without any desires to fight. I actually feel better because I know I won, and I feel like fighting soon. I'm not going to take a year off because I'm depressed. I wanted to be voided in my boxing career, but it didn't happen. Now I am convinced that the promoters only think about the business aspect.

(Manager Roberto Alcazar interrupts) Who can explain that at the end of the first four rounds, the judges had given three to Trinidad. I figured this out after the fight. I was completely sure that we were winning from what I saw in the corner. We were celebrating after the sixth round.

Robert, after you started to celebrate, what were Oscar's instructions? Well, in our minds we thought we'd won by that time, so I wasn't interested in the last rounds. All the rounds are evened out for points-the first one as much as the last one. And the judges should be capable and professional enough to give the most qualified fighter the victory.

Oscar, was Tito less than what you expected? Yes, a lot less. I expected a better Trinidad, and a more dangerous one. I had studied some fights. I thought he'd be stronger and that he would fight better.

You spoke about the fight being fixed and many people involve you in that because of how the last three rounds ended, how do you feel about that? I have always said that when Don King is involved, something bad is going to happen in regards to the decision or in regards to anything. That's the only fear I had, not for Trinidad but rather for Don King.

Why didn't you just try to knock Trinidad out during the last three rounds? Well, I couldn't take that risk. I did it with Quartey, and he almost knocked me out. If I had been a little more aggressive during the last three rounds, the fight would have resulted the same way or in a tie. I was sure during the tenth round that I had already won six or seven rounds at least. The risk is that a fighter is very dangerous when he's frustrated, and he can try to knock you out.

Which name is a heavier name Don King or Bob Arum? On a worldwide level-Don King's. His influence is not positive and unfortunately, in boxing there is a lot of politics and bad people. You have to check out the Swiss bank accounts.

So nothing can be done to Don King, right? Don King has gone home. The judges have gone home. Of course, they won't do anything. I don't think they will come back and change the decision now-why now?

Do you think there should be an organization to punish bad judges? Something has to happen there, something has to change. It's just that boxing is controlled by Don King and promoters with a lot of money.

So we need to change boxing? I think so. All the promoters see this only as a business and that's not right. I'm happy that I fought, and I felt like I won the fight. But the promoters are only thinking in the business and the money. They wanted a rematch and now, of course, there will be one. But my intentions weren't to fight him (Trinidad) again because he didn't deserve it. I won the fight easily. If the judges were to grant me the victory then there would be no rematch, but because Trinidad got the victory, now I have to do the rematch.

Would you accept getting fewer points than Tito at the rematch? Fewer no.

Out of the commentaries that Julio Cesar Chavez made, what opinion does he owe you after Chavez mentioned you lacked the "H" factor? His opinion doesn't matter in regards to what happened here. I beat him twice. Now he wants to fight Trinidad. He said it because he wants people to think that if he were to fight Trinidad, he would face him more. But to me his opinion doesn't matter.

What did you learn from this fight? That my movement and my boxing are superior to his. I know that I had the ability to box in my legs and to be at peace in the ring. This fight gave me the confidence to be more aggressive, to give me more lateral movements and to combine them with more of an attack.

With the experience that you are gaining, when you retire from boxing, would you like to become a promoter? There is a possibility. I would help the fighters and take care of them. That is what this sport needs because its standards are getting lower and lower and it's not like it used to be. It's just a business now.

In the midst of your boxing career, where does your much-anticipated singing career lie in the scheme of things? I'm doing an album of romantic ballads will be recorded probably during my three-month rest period, but I won't launch the album until after the rematch, after I have won my victory over Tito Trinidad.

And lastly, your fame is based on many things-your boxing, your celebrity, your good looks, and more. This leads some of your QV fans to wonder if you are QV. Just for the record-are you? No, not at all. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I respect the whole world. I am not QV, but I do have a lot of QV fans-and I am grateful to all of them for the support they have always given me in my career.



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