De La Hoya's The Pretty, Pretty Favorite

Photogenic boxer is hot, but can title fight heat up boxing?
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted May 3, 2007 10:40 PM CDT
Boxer Oscar De La Hoya looks on during a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. De La Hoya will defend his WBC junior middleweight boxing title against Floyd Mayweather...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. title fight, the defending champion with the winning smile is the overwhelming people's favorite. And the bout is for more than just the WBC light middleweight crown. It's projected to shatter pay-per-view records and perhaps even rejuvenate boxing—a notion De La Hoya rejects.

"I think we've already saved the sport," said the charismatic Mexican-American, who will make at least $23 million (to Mayweather's $10 million) for tomorrow's fight. "It's not dying and it's not dead." Of his showdown with Mayweather, whom many consider the best active pound-for-pound boxer, he said, "I don’t see this fight going the distance."