Easy pickings. That's what Oscar De La Hoya will have when he fights Shane Mosley Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Of course, that's only my opinion, but the feeling here is Oscar won't lose this fight and will probably knock out the underdog Mosley somewhere in the middle rounds of the scheduled 12-round welterweight (147-pound limit) title fight. By the way, Mosley is a 2-1 underdog, give or take a dime, at local sportsbooks)
Mosley, who is undefeated at 34-0 with 32 KOs, has a lot to overcome if he expects to be victorious in the pay-per-view TV fight. Not only must he overcome his move up two divisions in weight - from lightweight (135-limit) to welterweight - he must be able to stay away from De La Hoya's power while attempting to outbox and outfox the champion.
Barring something unforeseen, like a head butt cut or something completely unexpected, it doesn't look like Mosley has the tools to beat Oscar, either by decision or by knockout.
This is not to say Mosley isn't a good or possibly even a great fighter. It's just that, as far as I can see, he bit off more than he can chew. This is a tough move up in weight and don't kid yourself and believe Mosley is the same fighter he was as a lightweight. He isn't, and won't be the dominating and superior fighter he was at the lighter weight.
De La Hoya has only one loss on his record and if you, like me, believe he really won his fight against Felix Trinidad, then you could say Oscar is undefeated, too.
The fact that Oscar gave that fight away - in the judges opinion anyway - by dancing and running away the last few rounds, shouldn't influence you. I'm sure Oscar learned his lesson and won't repeat that mistake again.
Also, De La Hoya has fought - and beaten - much tougher opponents than Mosley has fought. Oscar has the ring expertise and experience against tougher foes and that will make a difference, too.
And don't forget, since they weigh-in early, De La Hoya will come into the ring at around 156 or so pounds, so Mosley will be spotting him seven or eight pounds when the first bell rings.
Mosley has never been hit by anyone carrying that weight and wallop in his punches and I feel he won't be able to take that for very long. Also, Mosley's punch won't carry the power he had as a lightweight and I expect Oscar to shrug them off and walk right through Mosley to land whatever Oscar wants to in what will be, just as I said earlier, easy pickings for the champ.
The PPV telecast starts at 6 p.m.
Official prediction: De La Hoya by knockout in round four or five!
-- With last Saturday's and this coming Saturday's amateur fight cards scheduled for Reno called off due to lack of a volunteer ringside physician, Vic Bruno of Bruno's Boxing Club in Carson City hopes to take some of his fighters to the Idaho Youth Games this weekend in Caldwell.
"I've entered my son, Santo Bruno, and Halo Guerrero, for the games," said Vic Bruno, the team head coach. "I will also be taking a stand-by fighter along. His name is Sam Rojas. I'm ready to go with them. They're entered but not matched yet. I'm waiting to hear back from them. We won't go unless we are matched ... That's too long a drive to make unless we know for sure they will fight."
He added that he will know "in a few days" whether they will make the trip.
-- Interesting weekend of fights coming up. In addition to that Saturday PPV card, there are many TV fights on the menu, plus Harrah's Reno will hold a live pro card Friday night featuring Merqui Sosa in the main event. That card begins at 7 p.m.
There will be some tough opposition because the regular live ESPN2 Friday night fights also begin at 7 p.m. The main event for that card has Antonio Diaz ( 31-3, 22 KOs) taking on Omar Weis ( 33-1, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round junior lightweight (130-limit) fight.
Also on Friday night from Las Vegas, Showtime has a two-hour telecast that features Andrew Golota and Orlin Norris in a heavyweight contest. The broadcast begins at 11 p.m.
-- ABC-TV has a rare Saturday afternoon fight this weekend between lightweight (135-limit) champ Steve Johnson (30-1, 15 KOs) defending his title against challenger Jose Luis Castillo (40-4, 37 KOs) that starts at 2 p.m.
-- FOX Sports has their usual Sunday night pro fight card telecast that has a starting time of 8 p.m.
-- Last Sunday night FOX had pro fights out of El Reno, Oklahoma. The main event featured giant (6-foot-8, 262-pounds) Lance "Mount" Whitaker fighting unknown Thomas Williams, who spotted Mount 21-pounds and a few inches in height, for the useless and unheard of WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title.
Whitaker (20-1, 17 KOs) had an easy time of it, knocking Williams down in the first round and twice in the second round. Williams (25-9, 16 KOs) was counted out after that last knockdown in what was a pitiful performance by a fighter who had no business being in any kind of a title fight, even one with a phony title.
-- Last Friday, the ESPN2 card from New York for the Hall-Of-Fame weekend was a clunker. I watched the whole 2 hour telecast and there wasn't a good fight on the whole telecast. Just a boring and dull waste of time!
-- Last Saturday's "K.O. Nation" fight telecast on HBO was a lot better. The main event saw bronco McKart - he's always in action-packed fights - take on Jason Papillion in a junior middleweight (154-limit) fight that saw McKart (42-2, 29 KOs) put Papillion (32-4-1, 22 KOs) down in the first round and then go on to take a unanimous 10-round decision win.
And in a wild slugfest that opened the HBO show, Acelino Frietas remained unbeaten at 26-0 with 26 KOs when he stopped Lemuel Nelson (19-3, 10 KOs) at the 2:59 mark of round two but it wasn't easy as McKart had to survive a first-round knockdown himself before taking Jason out.
More action in this fight than on the whole ESPN2 Friday card, I might add ....
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.