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MAY 2006

Big weekend of sports, with the NHL and NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby and a big fight in Las Vegas between Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga.


The toughest guy in the world with a nine figure ATM balance, Oscar De La Hoya returns to the ring against one of the more colorful fighters in the Game, Ricardo Mayorga. At least that’s the plan–at the pre-fight press Conference Mayorga claimed that he wasn’t going to fight unless he got the same eight million bucks that his opponent is pulling down. With all due respect, Mayorga must be smoking something besides his traditional post fight Marlboros if he thinks that’s going to happen. Mayorga is a decent enough fighter, and a very entertaining guy in and out of the ring but he ain’t the one driving PPV buys. De La Hoya is the biggest box office attraction in the sport, so Mayorga needs to be happy he’s along for the ride and pocket the “paltry” two million bucks he’ll make.

On to the fight itself–lots of talk that this might be Oscar’s last fight, so obviously he wants to go out a winner. He’s certainly not picked an easy opponent, but he’s definitely the superior boxer. He’ll have to quickly work off 20 months of “ring rust” (his last fight was his 9th round stoppage loss to then “pound for pound” king Bernard Hopkins) along with his tendency to turn boxing matches into. Still, the “Golden Boy” didn’t get that aforementioned nine figure bank balance by being stupid. He may try to brawl with Mayorga early on, but should figure out quickly that Mayorga’s not a candidate for an easy knockout. Look for Oscar to punch early and box late on his way to a unanimous decision victory. It might not be the most dramatic way to end his brilliant career, but its the way to get the job done.

So if you’re looking to bet the fight taking De La Hoya and the OVER round prop is the way to go. Oscar is a -267 choice at Pinnacle, with the OVER 11′ rounds priced at +101. The best value position is clearly De La Hoya by decision, priced at +171. Mayorga has been stopped twice in his career–in his first bout as a pro against a guy you’ve never heard of (Humberto Aranda, for those of you scoring at home) and the hard hitting Felix Trinidad. He’s got heavy hands himself, so Oscar’s best path to victory is to showcase his superior boxing skills and get the decision. That’s also your best path to profiting on the fight.


Quick caveat here–I’m not a horse handicapper. Handicapping the ponies is a discipline unto itself. Four times a year–the three Triple Crown races and the Breeder’s Cup–my clients want horse selections and I do my best to comply. I rely heavily on my associates who *are* good horse handicappers and most of them have yet to weigh in on their pick for the Kentucky Derby. As a result, the selection I’m going to give you here is based on incomplete information. I’ll try to get a Derby Day update sent to my free play mailing list, and if you want to get it just drop me an email to [email protected]. For now, I like the Florida Derby winner Barbaro priced at 4/1 on the morning line. You’ve been warned that I may change my mind before the race and I’ve given you a way to get the updated selection so no whining allowed if the nag brings up the rear.

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