TUCSON, Ariz. -- Will he or won't he? Maybe Oscar De La Hoya doesn't even know.
At least, nobody close to De La Hoya would or could provide any hints Thursday about whether he will announce his retirement, his next opponent, a dental appointment or plans for a presidential campaign at a news conference Tuesday in Los Angeles.
|Is Oscar De La Hoya hanging it up? (Getty Images)|
" ... It's tough. I'm sure it's weighing on him. I'm sure it's stressful for him. I haven't seen him in awhile. He's been in Puerto Rico."
De La Hoya is expected to be at Desert Diamond on Friday for an ESPN2-televised card. He also is expected to keep everybody guessing. The card features David Lopez (37-12, 25 KOs) of Mexico against Ossie Duran (23-6-2, nine KOs) of Ghana in a junior-middleweight bout. But the main event figures to be De La Hoya speculation, which -- true to his first name -- is very Oscar-like. The envelope, please.
The guessing game during Thursday's weigh-in was retirement. It makes sense. If there was another fight out there, the list of opponents would have been circulating in an increasingly noisy buzz. But there are no legs to speculation about even some of the most prominent possibilities. Sorry, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Then there is the whole build-up and setting for the announcement. It looks and sounds scripted. It is expected to happen in downtown Los Angeles, near the streets where De La Hoya grew up and even closer to his statue in front of Staples Center. It's a good stage for a retirement party, not that De La Hoya is going anywhere other than to the promotional side of the ropes.
Then again, De La Hoya knows how to surprise. At least, he surprised me with his stunning loss to Manny Pacquiao in December. I would have never have picked a Pacquiao victory. Maybe De La Hoya is about to surprise me again, although I hope not.
Moments after Pacquiao's triumph, De La Houa told former trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's corner man, he was done. Since then, there apparently have been second thoughts about whether a rapid loss of weight weakened him. But Pacquiao's dominance was more about a loss of skill and instinct than pounds. The hunch is that De La Hoya, a smart guy, knows that and will honor what his wife Millie told him in the dressing room and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told him in the hospital in the difficult wake of the devastating defeat. It's over.
After all, it makes a lot more sense to take a few bows for a brilliant career in front of a statue that can't hit back than it does to take a chance at more punishment, a senseless risk that could result in only a senseless future.
Loaded gloves called despicable
Sugar Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins trainer Nazim Richardson will work a couple of corners at Desert Diamond on Friday. His first job is for Philadelphia junior-welter Karl Dargan (3-0) against Rudy Valdez (2-3) of Nampa, Idaho, and then for welterweight Rock Allen (14-0, 7 KOs), also of Philadelphia, against Adan Hernandez (14-6, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas.
Richardson still shakes his head in anger and some sadness at the loaded wraps he discovered on Antonio Margarito's hands before Mosley's victory last January in Los Angeles. California has suspended Margarito for one year.
Even if the hard substance in the wraps had not been detected and Margarito had worn them, Mosley would have won, Richardson said.
"But let's say that Shane still beats Margarito, still knocks him out," Richardson said after Thursday's weigh-in. "Because of the Plaster of Paris, Margarito lands a shot and cuts Shane. Then, Shane gets badly cut again at the same spot in his next fight and loses. If he gets cut and damaged, he couldn't continue his career if he wanted to.
Notes, quotes and oddservations
- Name game: No, Ossie Duran isn't on the birth certificate. The junior-middleweight's African name is Osumanu Yahaya. "That just doesn't work in boxing," said Duran, who adopted a ring name in honor of his hero Roberto. Duran, Ossie, has been living in Paterson, N.J., for the past couple of years. He was born in Ghana and says he is friends with that country's great welterweight, Ike Quartey, who owns a hotel and is building a hospital in Accra.
- David Lopez usually fights as a middleweight. But he is going down to junior middle for Duran. Lopez last fought at the lighter weight in 1998. Making weight has been no problem, said Lopez, who is from the Mexican city of Nogales, a border town south of Tucson. Both Duran and Lopez were 154½ pounds Thursday.
- Former lightweight champ Joel Casamayor wants to fight a couple of more years, says his manager, Luis De Cubas Jr., who is in Tucson with Puerto Rican junior-welterweight Hector Sanchez against DeMarcus Corley in the co-main event. Casamayor lost to Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight. He will turn 38 in July, according to boxrec.com. Casamayor wants to fight Juan Diaz, who also lost to Marquez in his last outing. "That's the most likely one I think," De Cubas said. "But he would also love to fight Edwin Valero."
- Golden Boy Promotions returns Friday night to Desert Diamond for the first time since September. De La Hoya's company plans to stage three more cards this year at the Arizona casino.
For more boxing news, visit 15rounds.com.