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Mayweather defeats De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. square off in round 10 of their super-welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Oscar De La Hoya in a split decision in May. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Mayweather played the villain in the fight’s promotion, repeatedly goading Oscar De La Hoya with press tour antics that were often criticized as childish. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Now, as the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather, 30, nears a Saturday night World Boxing Council welterweight title defense against undefeated and two-division champion Ricky Hatton of England at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, he seeks not only a victory in the ring, but a further boost in his efforts to become a crossover celebrity. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Floyd Mayweather (38-0, 24 knockouts) again displayed the skills of an exceptional boxer against Oscar De La Hoya with defensive quickness and supreme fitness that have made him a six-time world champion in five weight classes. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
No one had questioned Mayweather’s boxing gifts, but as he drew pre-De La Hoya fight pay-per-view crowds of 365,000 against Arturo Gatti, 375,000 versus Zab Judah and 325,000 in a yawner over Carlos Baldomir, questions about his widespread appeal in a slumping sport dogged him. But Mayweather might become the first non-heavyweight in boxing history to be involved in back-to-back bouts with more than 1 million pay-per-view buys. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)