With World Boxing Council President Jose Sulaiman--a long-time friend of Julio Cesar Chavez--very much in evidence during Tuesday’s news conference at Caesars Palace, Oscar De La Hoya said he wasn’t concerned that the three WBC judges will favor WBC super-lightweight champion Chavez if it comes to a decision Friday.
“The result of this fight is going to be so clear, I’m not worried at all about the judges,” De La Hoya said. “As long as I fight my own fight and stick to my game plan, whyshould I worry?
“Sure, it was an issue for people around my camp, but to me, it’s not an issue. Chavez’s trainer could judge this fight, it doesn’t matter to me.”
The three judges are Anek Hongtongkam from Thailand; Larry O’Connell from England and Daniel Van de Wiele from Belgium. Hongtongkam and O’Connell scored Chavez’s close unanimous decision victory over David Kamau last September.
Chavez says it happened while he was training to fight Roger Mayweather in 1989; De La Hoya says he thinks it happened while Chavez was training for Meldrick Taylor in 1990.
Either way, Chavez says the two-round sparring session between himself and a 126-pound De La Hoya in Huntington Park, captured on a tape shown Tuesday, is relevant.
The tape shows the teenage De La Hoya peppering Chavez with punches in the first round, then getting sent down on his right knee by a sharp Chavez right cross on the chin.
“Yes [the sparring is significant], because it gave me an idea that I can knock him out,” Chavez said. “It gave me an idea of his punch. At the time, the one who was trying hard was Oscar, not me.”