Cinco De Mayo classic filled with controversy
Oscar De La Hoya solidified himself as the top pay-per-view boxer, especially after beating Ricardo Mayorga for the WBC Super Welterweight title the year before this fight. Also, multiple storylines became apparent between both fighters. Floyd Mayweather Sr., de la Hoya’s trainer, took on the spectator role (in a $2000 seat paid for by De La Hoya) as Freddie Roach trained the Golden Boy for this particular fight. HBO started the 24/7 series with this fight as well. This championship fight lived up to all the buzz while setting the PPV bar with numerous new records. This would also usher in a new PPV king and era for “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
De La Hoya started the fight aggressively. His gameplan pertained to trapping Floyd along the ropes and throwing as much as possible if he caught Floyd. He landed a few good punches, especially his right hand. Additionally, De La Hoya threw flurries while trapping Floyd on the ropes. Few punches got through, but Mayweather shook off whatever De La Hoya landed early. As the fight progressed into the midpoint, Mayweather became more comfortable and threw more. He started to land body jabs, beautiful counter rights, and check left hooks that left the Golden Boy frustrated. After the fifth round, Floyd stayed in the pocket more to land his shots and left before retaliation hit. De La Hoya kept chasing and implement his strategy, but Floyd landed his shots in rapid succession. The hand-speed difference became apparent in the later rounds as well. Both fighters went into the last round looking to seal the deal. They traded at the end of the last round before the bell. Two judges voted in favor of Mayweather, winning by split decision. Amongst all the boos from the pro-De La Hoya crowd, the villain Floyd Mayweather officially took over as the new cash cow of boxing.
This classic set new financial records for the sport. The fight itself grossed over $165 million in total, including $130 million domestically. Also, De La Hoya ($52 million) and Mayweather ($25 million) combined for the largest payday for two fighters. The Golden Boy also became the all-time PPV leader with 12.8 million buys (until Floyd broke it in 2015). The 2007 Ring Magazine Event of the Year marked the end of De La Hoya’s era and the beginning of Floyd’s ascension. The Golden Boy retired two fights later with a loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2008. It became time to bury the “Pretty Boy” persona and create the “Money” era for Floyd Mayweather.