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Thursday, March 02, 2006
Media members were provided with plastic construction helmets, but this was a gimmick to hype the “Danger Zone” theme of the fight, not protect us if, as had happened earlier this week at other similar events on this national press conference tour, a scuffle erupted.
This time there was no such brawling between anyone. But Mayorga did continue his verbal assault on De La Hoya, including calling him a “maricon,” one of the harshest slur words used by Latinos. De La Hoya refused to take the bait, but did say that “I have more hatred” for Mayorga than any other fighter he has faced. After the formal press conference, when the journalists were trying to get interviews and photographs, De La Hoya marched out of the building.
Perhaps the biggest news was that De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has lined up two major sponsors for this fight, Bacardi and Coca-Cola. The Golden Boy people, however, were not at all amused by Mayorga’s antics, and must hope that these corporate types do not feel that the build-up to this fight is presenting the wrong image for them. According to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Coca-Cola is slated to use this fight to introduce a new drink.
Mayorga’s trainer, Stacey McKinley, formerly with Mike Tyson, promised a brawl. De La Hoya’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., read a poem promising victory for his man. At least these veterans gave interesting if brief presentations.
Bernard Hopkins confirmed that he will indeed be facing light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver June 10 in Atlantic City. He noted that the first fight of his pro career, in which he lost a four-round majority decision to Clinton Mitchell, was also at light heavyweight and was also held in Atlantic City. He also vowed to do what Sugar Ray Robinson couldn’t do, and that is win the light heavyweight title, which he pointed out was for “no belts” but everyone knows that Tarver is the real champ. Robinson failed in 1952 to beat Joey Maxim when after the 13th round he could not answer the bell in a fight held in 104-degree heat outdoors in Yankee Stadium. The Hopkins-Tarver fight will, of course, be held indoors, and at Boardwalk Hall.
HBO Pay-Per-View head Mark Taffet also confirmed that last week’s Mosley-Vargas event got more than 400,000 buys, with an official announcement coming out today. De La Hoya-Mayorga will also be on HBO Pay-Per-View and go for $49.95.
The date of this fight, May 6, is one day after Cinco de Mayo, a major Mexican holiday commemorating the victory of the Mexican Army in 1862 over the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla.
More to come on the web sites.