Oscar DeLaHoya's decision not to go ahead with a bout against Fernando Vargas, millimoments from the closing of the deal has inspired a fair share of cynical commentary.
This is not the first time that a career 'chess move' involving the side stepping of an opponent has led to much in the manner of mutterings and musings on the 'Golden Boys' aptitude in tackling what ought to amount to character defining bouts.
Few need be reminded of the unmaterialised return match with Felix Trinidad and fewer still about the expected and if I may say, the demanded replay with Sugar 'Shane' Mosley. A fight with Vargas, once promising, somewhat diminished but sort of reascendant in the estimation of the experts would for many have been the perfect prelude to retackling Mosley, assuming of course that DeLaHoya came out of the bout unscathed.
Alas this will not be the case. For the moment at least. Not with the little matter of a WBC mandatory defence edict (Or was Vargas driving too hard a financial bargain?) elbowing its way to the detriment of what looked like a pretty efficacious bout.
Perhaps other writers have inked much on this aspect of Oscar but I'd like to get this one off my chest. For many, the veneer of Oscar's inexorably march to the valhalla of boxing immortals has being damaged, perhaps irreparably by the overly careful manoeuvres behind the scenes which are shrouded in expedient protestations of alphabet soup edicts, unsolvable pecuniary disputes or weight problems.
DeLaHoya is in danger of becoming the Mark Breland of his time; that is one to whom so much hope was invested at the outset of his career but to whom the dividends are of bitter anticlimax. In DeLaHoya's case the pungent odour of failure lurks only a few fights from now.
Cowardice, pragmatism or circumstances? Most of us have just about given up