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Floyd picks up the split

Times Staff Writer

The younger, faster and more energetic Floyd Mayweather Jr. did what he said he would Saturday night, beating Oscar De La Hoya to the punch often enough to win a split-decision victory to claim his fifth world championship.

Fighting in front of a celebrity-packed sellout crowd of 16,200 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mayweather Jr. showed off the benefit of his fanatical workout regimen that includes after-midnight runs by staying more active in the late rounds and edging the former World Boxing Council super-welterweight champion from East Los Angeles.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. May 9, 2007 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday May 09, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Boxing: In Sunday’s Sports section, the round-by-round breakdown of the scoring from the bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. incorrectly had judge Chuck Giampa giving the final round to Mayweather, 10 points to 9. Giampa actually had De La Hoya winning the round, 10-9.

While judge Tom Kaczmarek gave De La Hoya a 115-113 edge, Chuck Giampa ruled Mayweather won 116-112 and Jerry Roth’s 115-113 margin to Mayweather (38-0) was the determining vote.

“Look at the punch-stat numbers and you can see why I’m the new champion tonight,” Mayweather said. “I just fought the best fighter in our era, and I beat him.”

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Although skepticism remains -- Mayweather is in position for some lavish paydays with his triumph -- the 30-year-old from Las Vegas repeated his vow to retire effective immediately.

“Yes, I’m going to retire,” Mayweather said. “I don’t have anything left to prove. I want to spend time with my children.”

Roger Mayweather, his uncle and trainer, said after the fight, “He ain’t quittin’. Too much of this [rubbing his fingers together to indicate money] will make a dead man walk.”

Mayweather’s decisive edge came by fighting fresher through the final rounds as De La Hoya (38-5) slowed. Roth and Giampa awarded Mayweather four of the final five rounds on their scorecards.

“I could see his shots coming and I stayed outside,” Mayweather said.

De La Hoya and his supportive crowd differed.

“I felt I won the fight,” De La Hoya said in the ring afterward. “I landed the harder, crisper punches. I could see I was hurting him. I was pressuring the fight. If I didn’t, there’d be no fight.

“I’m the champion. You have to do more than that to beat the champion.”

After outweighing Mayweather, 154-150, at Friday’s weigh-in, De La Hoya indeed took the fight to Mayweather as he pledged. He pounded the challenger with body and stomach barrages. Clearly employing a plan to sap some of Mayweather’s energy, De La Hoya won rounds two through four on two of the judges’ cards by landing hard punches that brought a smile to Mayweather.

“I was having fun in there,” Mayweather said.

The potential of De La Hoya’s power, however, had Mayweather jumping backward as De La Hoya wound up.

Mayweather answered a fifth-round pounding in a clinch by delivering a stiff right that snapped De La Hoya’s head back. Another big right followed, and the challenger swept the fifth and sixth rounds.

After De La Hoya stung Mayweather’s face with a left hook in the seventh, two more good rights in the eighth by Mayweather seemed to change the fight’s course. Suddenly, Mayweather was more confident, and more willing to showcase his speed.

By the 10th, Mayweather was making swishing sounds as he zapped scoring jabs at De La Hoya. The champion fired off a combination and never landed one punch as the speedy Mayweather then pounded De La Hoya with a right at the bell and stuck out his bottom lip to the crowd in a boastful gesture.

Snapping off more scoring punches in the 11th, Mayweather continued firing punches in the 12th, withstanding a late, great mutual flurry that left the crowd roaring its approval of a fight that was billed by some as the bout to save boxing.

The punch statistics showed Mayweather landed 207 to De La Hoya’s 122, and 138 power punches to De La Hoya’s 82.

“I outboxed him,” Mayweather said.

“He’s fast,” De La Hoya admitted.

Minutes after the crowd departed, Golden Boy Promotions Chief Executive Richard Schaefer raised attention to a scorecard error. The scorecard listed De La Hoya in the blue corner, not the red one where his training team was situated.

The issue was addressed by Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer, who ruled the scores were correct, that Mayweather had won.

“It seems like an honest mistake, my opinion is it stands,” said Schaefer, who said he would still have his attorney review the discrepancy.

De La Hoya said he will “go back to the drawing board, see how my body feels” before deciding whether to retire.

“I’m going to be very smart about the situation,” he said. “I’ll watch the fight, see my movements, see how my timing was, and how my body reacts. I’ll wait and see, and analyze it.”

Mayweather Jr. exited the ring as he entered: wearing a Mexican sombrero, drawing jeers from the pro-De La Hoya crowd. His entourage, dressed in “Mayweather loves Mexico” T-shirts, while the boxer revealed trunks in the colors of the Mexican flag, was led in by rapper 50 Cent.

With dozens of celebrities including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio in attendance, De La Hoya earned a guaranteed $23.3 million and Mayweather Jr. gained a minimum $10 million from the bout, Kizer said.

Those totals will skyrocket once pay-per-view and closed-circuit revenue is counted. In addition to the $19 million live gate, the fight drew another sellout of 25,000 closed-circuit seats at seven MGM-Mirage properties in Las Vegas.

UNDERCARD

Featherweight Rocky Juarez (27-3) won a unanimous decision against Jose Hernandez (22-4). Juarez knocked Hernandez down with a big right in the second round.

Undefeated Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista (23-0) of the Philippines won a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Sergio Medina (28-1) of Argentina.

The junior-featherweight fighters exchanged knockdowns, with Bautista landing a sharp left in the sixth round that felled Medina. A round later, Medina nearly ended the bout with a flurry that left Bautista clinging to the ropes. A Bautista counterpunch floored Medina again in the 11th.

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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Begin text of infobox

Turning point

ROUND 8

* The Setup: De La Hoya was either leading or tied on all the judges’ scorecards, relying on his strength advantage to bully Mayweather often enough to blunt the 30-year-old challenger’s speed advantage.

* What Happened: Mayweather landed two crisp rights, and noticeably started outpunching the champion by showcasing quick strikes that would pace his run through the end of the fight.

* The Outcome: Mayweather takes the World Boxing Council super-welterweight belt from De La Hoya with a split-decision made possible by winning four of the last five rounds on the scorecards of the judges who made him the winner, Jerry Roth and Chuck Giampa.

**

A round and a round ...

The Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. super-welterweight championship fight at a glance with scoring from the three ringside judges and The Times’ Steve Springer:

*--* ROUND 1 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Mayweather’s hand speed was the difference as he connected with both his left and right. Mayweather was also more successful with the jab. De La Hoya, following his normal opening-round pattern, spent much of the time analyzing his opponent’s style.

*--* ROUND 2 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: De La Hoya became the aggressor, cutting off the ring and connecting with a variety of punches to the head and body, primarily with the left hook. De La Hoya matched Mayweather’s speed, nullifying the challenger’s biggest asset.

*--* ROUND 3 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER De La Hoya, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: De La Hoya jolted Mayweather with a left hand early in the round, forced him to the ropes, where De La Hoya wanted him to be, and scored often and solidly with combinations. Mayweather looked confused.

*--* ROUND 4 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: De La Hoya got Mayweather on the ropes in the first half of the round, landing a series of body shots. If Mayweather was depending on the rope-a-dope, it would have been a long night for him. Mayweather came back in the second half of the round, but it wasn’t enough to offset the damage done by De La Hoya.

*--* ROUND 5 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Mayweather backed up De La Hoya for the first time in the bout with punches that broke through De La Hoya’s defense and slowed his charge. Mayweather twice stung De La Hoya with right hands.

*--* ROUND 6 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Both fighters seemed to take it down a notch after a heated pace early in the match. De La Hoya landed the most meaningful punch of the round, a right hand that Mayweather obviously felt. Mayweather’s combinations were the deciding factor.

*--* ROUND 7 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: De La Hoya seemed to get a second wind and came back strong, catching Mayweather with flurries at the start and end of the round. Mayweather briefly rallied in the middle of the round but couldn’t sustain it.

*--* ROUND 8 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Mayweather’s quickness was the difference, whether counterpunching off the ropes, landing combinations at the center of the ring or connecting on blows to De La Hoya’s head. He seemed to be the stronger fighter at this point.

*--* ROUND 9 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER De La Hoya, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Although De La Hoya trapped Mayweather on the ropes early in the round, Mayweather was able to successfully block many of De La Hoya’s punches. Mayweather landed the more solid blows in the round, especially right hands to the head and body.

*--* ROUND 10 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Another close round went to Mayweather. Nothing fancy, not a lot of combinations or flurries, but Mayweather’s quicker right hand repeatedly got inside De La Hoya’s defense to score points, including a solid right to close out the round.

*--* ROUND 11 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: Mayweather was getting cocky and De La Hoya appeared to be running out of solutions. De La Hoya kept coming forward, but Mayweather was consistently scoring with his right hand. De La Hoya was no longer going to the jab.

*--* ROUND 12 JERRY ROTH CHUCK GIAMPA TOM KACZMAREK STEVE SPRINGER Mayweather, 10-9 Mayweather, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9 De La Hoya, 10-9

*--*

* Springer’s breakdown: With the fighters going toe to toe, De La Hoya got a final burst of energy, pressing the action. Mayweather was not as effective as he had been in previous rounds. He seemed content to let De La Hoya carry the fight for the final three minutes.

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Los Angeles Times


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