Wednesday, May 20, ESPN2 is showing five hours of the sport’s most debated decisions.
The action will begin at 7 p.m. ET with Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad.
I’m rolling my eyes a bit, because I can see Twitter now…
The back and forths on these fights from the Top Rank library that will be going on, it will be “spirited.”
The Wednesday lineup includes:
Oscar De La Hoya vs Félix Trinidad (7 P.M. ET): The two long-reigning welterweight champions and pound-for-pound greats met in the “Fight of the Millennium” on Sept. 18, 1999, with De La Hoya defending his WBC title and Trinidad defending his IBF title.
De La Hoya landed 97 more punches (263 to 166), but after 12 tensely fought rounds, Trinidad was controversially declared the winner by majority decision. The bout set the pay-per-view record for a non-heavyweight fight with 1.4 million buys, a mark that stood until it was broken by De La Hoya-Mayweather on May 5, 2007. Darn right, it was controversial. People to this day debate the decision.
Oscar De La Hoya vs Shane Mosley II (8 P.M. ET): In a rematch of their first bout in June 2000 — won by Mosley via split decision — De La Hoya put his WBA and WBC super welterweight world titles on the line against the former welterweight and lightweight world champion.
According to CompuBox, De La Hoya landed more punches (221-127) and was the more accurate puncher (36%-26%). Despite De La Hoya winning in the eyes of most boxing experts, Mosley was declared the winner in a controversial unanimous decision.
NOTE: The NY Times‘ man on the scene, Clifton Brown, showed an egregious naïveté when he wrote, “Resurrecting his career, and perhaps ending Oscar De La Hoya’s, Sugar Shane Mosley won a unanimous decision to win the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight titles tonight at MGM Grand Arena.” Ending De La Hoyas’ career? He fought five more years and made ludicrous amounts of money, in fights versus Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Márquez III (9 P.M. ET): The only fight of the four between them not to feature a knockdown, Pacquiao and Márquez once again went to a decision in this WBO welterweight title fight, which occurred in 2011. Pacquiao was making the third defense of his title and landed more punches (176-138), but Márquez was the more accurate of the two fighters, according to CompuBox (32%-30%). The bout generated 1.4 million pay-per-view buys in the United States, which was Pacquiao’s best pay-per-view total until his 2015 mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao floored Marquez 3 times in the first bout and once in the second, but wasn’t able to drop the Mexican this time.
NOTE: This one was set for a catchweight, 144 pounds, and the welterweight titles should not have been in play. Also, Marquez’ trainer thundered after that he was considering a lawsuit versus the judges…but none was filed. The judges, for the record, were Dave Moretti 115-113, Glenn Trowbridge 116-112 and Robert Hoyle 114-114.
Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard (10 P.M. ET): Longtime middleweight champion Hagler had made 12 successful defense of his world title before facing the returning Sugar Ray Leonard, who had not fought in almost three years. Leonard, who was attempting to win a world title in a third weight class, built an early lead, but Hagler came on strong late.
Ring Magazine named Hagler-Leonard the 1987 Fight of the Year, and the split decision victory for Leonard cemented a comeback for the ages. Or, maybe you think that’s hogwash, and this the fighting pride of Brockton, Mass. deserved that W. Then bring it up with Dave Moretti and especially JoJo Guerra. He saw it 118-110 for Leonard. “JoJo Guerra should be put in jail,” co trainer Pat Petronelli said after. (He wasn’t…I mean, not for that, anyway.)
At the time, Al Bernstein saw it 115-113 Hagler, for the record. Would he score it the same on Wednesday?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. José Luis Castillo I (11 P.M. ET): After eight successful defenses of his super featherweight title, Mayweather moved up in weight for his lightweight debut against Castillo, who was making the fourth defense of his WBC title. According to CompuBox, Castillo outlanded Mayweather 203-157. HBO’s ringside judge, the late Harold Lederman, scored the fight for Castillo by four points. The official judges, however, scored it unanimously in Mayweather’s favor. You disagree? Take it up with Jerry Roth, John Keane and Anek Hongtongkam.
Time (ET) Matchup Platform (All fights are also available streaming on demand on ESPN+)
7:00 PM Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad ESPN2
8:00 PM Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II ESPN2
9:00 PM Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III ESPN2
10:00 PM Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard ESPN2
11:00 PM Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. José Luis Castillo I ESPN2