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Oscar's Night Is All Right

Despite injuring his left wrist in the first round, De La Hoya has no trouble stopping Campas in the seventh of tuneup for Mosley.

May 04, 2003|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS — For Sale: One bottle of magic potion.

Contact Yory Boy Campas. Willing to dump cheap.

In the end, after the ridiculous scam had been spun and the tickets had been sold and the pay-per-view buys had been made, and the over-and-under bets had been placed, it all went according to script.

Oscar De La Hoya had said he wanted to get in about six to seven rounds of work against Luis "Yory Boy" Campas on Saturday night in his high-priced tuneup for Shane Mosley at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in front of 11,025.

Bettors at the Mandalay Bay sports book were offered a wager that the fight would go either longer or shorter than 6 1/2 rounds.

It came in almost on the money. With only six seconds remaining in the seventh round, with Campas' face battered and his spirit deflated, his manager, Fernando Beltran, signaled that his fighter had had enough.

But even on a night when he successfully defended both his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. super-welterweight titles and improved to 36-2 with 29 knockouts, there was one disturbing development for De La Hoya.

He revealed after the fight that he had injured his left wrist in the first round. It's the same hand he has previously had surgery on and has long had problems with. But, De La Hoya insisted, the injury won't affect his title fight against Mosley on Sept. 13 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.

De La Hoya was scheduled to have the wrist examined today.

"I was about a seven on a scale of one to 10," De La Hoya said of his performance against Campas. "My left wrist hurts, but it is not going to interfere with my September fight."

Bad wrist or no bad wrist, De La Hoya was never in trouble Saturday night, never in danger of losing a round. With his left hand hurting, robbing him of his trademark jab, De La Hoya turned to his seldom-used right and peppered Campas as if he were a punching bag with eyes.

Not much was expected of Campas (80-6, 68) and not much was delivered. The fight was considered so one-sided that Campas was made a 25-1 underdog and promoter Bob Arum concocted a story about Campas taking a mysterious potion that had been used by Mexican irregular troops in 1862 in their battle to fight off French invaders.

Campas wasn't able to fight off much of anything De La Hoya threw at him. De La Hoya connected on 264 punches to 75 for Campas, and on 53% of punches thrown to 22% for Campas.

Imagine if De La Hoya had had two good hands.

De La Hoya said he could remember only one solid right hand by Campas getting through.

"He was a lot faster than I thought," Campas said. "I was doing my best, but I just couldn't get inside."

About the only uncertainty Saturday night was the number of times Campas' mouthpiece was going to fall out. It tumbled from his mouth six times. Tired of repeatedly stopping the fight to have the mouthpiece washed off, referee Vic Drakulich finally subtracted a point from Campas.

Perhaps it was all a ploy. Perhaps that wasn't water being applied to clean the mouthpiece, but potion.

Campas would have needed the Mexican army itself to change Saturday's outcome.

"I got what I wanted," De La Hoya said. "I got in some good work. I did well with my right hand, which was the only thing working tonight. Campas is a real game fighter. He can really take a punch. Sometimes, you slow down to the level of your opponent."

To slow to Campas' level, De La Hoya would have had to drop down about three gears.

Finally, Beltran stepped in and conceded the inevitable.

"He wasn't going to be target practice for anyone," Beltran said of Campas. "I would have to look his kids in the eye and tell them he got hurt, and I was not going to do that."

When the fight was over, Campas was quickly forgotten as attention shifted to Mosley, who was ringside.

"Shane, believe me, I will get you," said De La Hoya, who lost a split decision to Mosley at Staples Center in June 2000.

Mosley shrugged off De La Hoya's performance.

"It was a nice sparring session," he said.

It figures to be a lot more Sept. 13.

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