By Barry Kuta
This is sort of a travesty, this De La Hoya-Forbes fight on Saturday. The way this is being fed to us, it’s like we are supposed to be grateful that Oscar is fighting ANYBODY on the HBO channel we don’t have to pay extra for. So we have an opponent that hasn’t really been a good fighter since he was two or three divisions lighter. And it’s not even designed to be something competitive, since we know that what HBO really wants is the fight in the fall between De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. What’s in it for HBO if Oscar loses this fight? There IS no Mayweather fight, and no near-record pay-per-view return, if that happens. That’s why they would allow for something like this to happen.
I’m worried about the kind of standard this sets. And part of that worry is the integration between the commercialization HBO is shoving down our throat here and the commercialization of an abomination of a TV show called “The Contender,” which is why Forbes is in this fight in the first place. It’s a phony fight that is the by-product of a phony TV show. You and I know there are no contenders on “The Contender,” and while I’m not saying that Forbes is a washed-up fighter, he is a fighter that was recycled by that show, and I simply can’t believe it was meant to be that way.
These kinds of events seem like a precursor to a place I hope we don’t get to, but I fear we are heading toward quickly, which is where HBO, or some other network, is going to promote a personality to us, to the point where they’re going to demand that we pony up $14.95 for the tuneup fight for a De La Hoya-type, which becomes the very expensive appetizer for the $59.95 or whatever that they will require the fan pay for the REAL fight for the De La Hoya-type. And it won’t matter how real the entity is. Look at what Showtime is about to do in mixed martial arts with that phony Kimbo guy – they’re going to whip fans into a frenzy with a load of garbage, and the customer, who wants to see this stuff in the hope that it turns out legitimate, are going to walk away very, very unhappy.
Let’s hope they walk fast, and walk soon.
Oh, you wanted my prediction on the fight? Let’s say De La Hoya in nine rounds, because that will allow for one of those idiots like Max Kellerman to interview him before they cut to “Countdown to De La Hoya-Mayweather II.”
It all makes me sick.