Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
De La Hoya discusses Hopkins, Mayweather, Pacquiao and Ortiz in this Q&A
Oscar De La Hoya ranks Bernard Hopkins above Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the latter of whom he believes he would have defeated if he had been younger.
RingTV.com caught up to Oscar De La Hoya regarding his thoughts on the upcoming clash featuring WBC welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz and Floyd Maywearther Jr. that is slated for HBO Pay Per View at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
De La Hoya declined to go into detail concerning his recent rehabilitation from cocaine and alcohol, which is addressed in a separate story by RingTV.com.
Having faced and lost a narrow decision to the 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts), the 38-year-old De La Hoya has been offering tips to the 24-year-old Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs).
De La Hoya was knocked out in the ninth round by Hopkins in September of 2004, lost a decision to Mayweather in May of 2007, and was stopped in eight rounds by Pacquiao in the last fight of his career in December of 2008.
RingTV.com: How are you doing, and has it been a relief for you to go public with your past troubles and to get them off of your chest?
They're beside me, and it's a wonderful thing. I feel reborn. I've been given a second chance, literally, at at life that I had let it go to waste. Now I get to live life happily, and I get to live life to the fullest, and I get to live life the way that it's supposed to be lived. So I feel wonderful. I feel great. Right now, my life is amazing.
I think that he had it all planned out right from the start. Hopkins is a very strong puncher and he can take a punch. Hopkins is fast. He's got heart.
I did well against Hopkins until he caught me with that body shot. If I had fought Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao when I was younger, it would have been a whole different story. Who knows what the outcome would have been, but it would have been an entirely different outcome.
When you're in your prime, though, you have to take advantage. Unfortunately, I did fight Floyd Jr. and Pacquiao out of my prime. I can tell you that I would say that, no, they wouldn't have beaten me in my prime.
I dropped all the way down to 142 pounds, but it's all my fault, of course. I have to take responsibility for it, and at the same time, you have to give Pacquiao his credit. Hey, he was a young lion that beat me that night, and he's as a talented fighter.
So I have to take all of that into consideration. You know, I can play with it in my head and visualize, 'Okay, well, if I was younger, and if I was on my weight, or I wasn't feeling weak,' then, yeah, I think that it would have been a whole different story.
So I'm going to root for them and be on their side. Marquez, yes, you can make the case that he was a small welterweight, which he is. In a lot of people's minds, and, I guess, the reality was that he had maybe no chance.
In my eyes and my heart, I wanted him to have a chance and I wanted him to have that opportunity. The same goes with a Shane Mosley. In everybody's eyes, realistically, in the eyes of the experts, he was done.
He was not the Shane Mosley that I fought when we fought for the first time years earlier. But in my heart and in my mind, I wanted him to win, and I wanted him to be competitive. Maybe it's a personal thing.
But I feel and know that he does have a chance, because he's a true welterweight. He's a fighter that can hit hard and who is fast and who is young and who is not going to get tired.
For the first time, Mayweather is going to face a true welterweight who is bigger than him and who is stronger than him and who is younger than him. He's not going to face a Mosley or a Marquez.
He's going to face a true, in his-prime, young lion, and that's going to be a test for Mayweather when they enter the ring.
RingTV.com: How critical will it be for Ortiz to have a decent jab against Mayweather?
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com