De La Hoya to Defend Title vs. Campas
Feb. 19, 2003
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Golden Boy has his tuneup bout. What's not clear is which opponent he's tuning up for.
Oscar De La Hoya will defend his super welterweight title May 3 against Yory Boy Campas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
``The reason we picked Yory Boy Campas is it's going to be a good preparation for me. It's no secret,'' De La Hoya said Wednesday at a news conference officially announcing the 12-round bout.
``He's not going to knock me out or beat me. I'm not going to let that happen. But you can't take anyone lightly. I'm going to be in the best shape of my life.''
De La Hoya (35-2, 28 knockouts) probably will fight Shane Mosley or Fernando Vargas in September. Mosley seemed to be out of the picture this week when he balked at promoter Bob Arum's offer of $4.25 million, but Arum and De La Hoya said the parties are talking.
``The door's still open, the money's still on the table,'' De La Hoya said. ``If it doesn't happen, we move on to Fernando Vargas.''
Mosley handed De La Hoya one of his two losses in June 2000, with a 12-round split decision in a welterweight title bout.
``My ego is big. I want to get revenge,'' De La Hoya said. ``I want to beat the man who beat me.''
De La Hoya's other loss was by majority decision to Felix Trinidad in September 1999.
De La Hoya stopped Vargas in September in the 11th round at Mandalay Bay in his most recent fight to win the WBA and WBC versions of the super welterweight crown.
``It looks like Mosley is coming back, coming to his senses,'' Arum said. ``It looks like it's going to happen. We hope to get it wrapped up in the next couple weeks. We're talking to the Vargas people every day.''
A Mosley fight would be in Los Angeles, a Vargas bout in Las Vegas, Arum said.
The 30-year-old De La Hoya had said he didn't want to fight for a year after his victory over Vargas, but that's changed.
``I think this is showing a lot of people I'm serious about boxing,'' he said. ``I'm hungry, I love boxing, I love being in the ring.''
Arum said De La Hoya will earn $8 million and the 31-year-old Campas will make $500,000.
Campas (80-5, 68 knockouts) was stopped by Daniel Santos in the 11th round for the WBO version of the super welterweight title in March. Campas stopped unheralded George Klinesmith in the second round six months later in his only fight since.
``People see my career and think I'm on my way down,'' Campas said through an interpreter. ``I'm going to prepare to win the fight. As you've seen lately, there have been a lot of upsets. I'm stronger than he is and I can hit harder. I know that.''
Erik Morales of Tijuana, Mexico will also fight a 12-rounder on the card, defending his WBC featherweight title against Bobby Boy Velardez of San Bernardino, Calif.
Morales (42-1, 31 knockouts) will earn $1.25 million and Velardez (24-4-1, six knockouts) will make $250,000.
The 26-year-old Morales said he is dedicating the bout to his brother, Diego, who lost to the 22-year-old Velardez by disqualification in the ninth round last April when one of his cornermen jumped into the ring before the end of the round.
The card will be televised by HBO pay-per-view.