I have been in Las Vegas the past weekend relaxing at the Wynn Casino. I came out here with Paul Amey to watch one of my sporting idols fight for probably the last time in his career. Over the past 12 months I have had the opportunity to go to a few of the superfights in Las Vegas. Growing up in Australia, it was always a dream of mine to go to a superfight in Las Vegas. This time last year I had the opportunity to sit ringside at the Ricky Hatten - Floyd Mayweather fight and soak up the atmosphere. It was an incredible experience and my first fight in Las Vegas. I have always been a huge boxing fan and it was a real buzz to see a fight of this magnitude for real as opposed to Pay per View.
Since I can remember whenever a superfight was on, my friends and I in Australia would pay for the fight on TV and spend the afternoon engulfed in the day. We would have a barbeque and some beers and really enjoy the entire build up and the fight itself. It is unreal stuff. For all of us back home, in the past 12 years our fighting favourite and absolute could not miss fight was Oscar Delahoya. We have watched his entire sporting career. Oscar is about 18 months older than all of us back home so for us it was watching a great fighter that we could really relate to at a similar age. Oscar had some incredible wars in his career, coming off Olympic Gold in 1992 and then winning 10 world titles in 6 different weight divisions. He is a true hall of fame fighter and know fighter in the past 12 years created as big a stir or publicity campaign in the build up to their fights as Oscar did. He came through as a lightweight and fought all the way up into the middle weight division with a huge war a couple of years ago with Fernando Vargas and more recently Mayorga. I have seen all his fights and grew up admiring his courage and his drive. He was a true warrior and a very good image for a sport that is looking for that in reality. I related to him very well. He lost his mother to breast cancer, was super competitive and loved his sport. I admired Oscar on many different levels.
Last night I got my opportunity to finally sit live at an Oscar Delahoya fight. Rob Oseland at the Wynn Casino snagged me some tickets and called me to get out to Vegas and watch the fight. I jumped on a plane and was pumped. Oscar was going to fight Manny "Pacman" Pacquio. Since the retirement of Mayweather after the Hatten fight last year, Manny is regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the World. Basically Oscar was taking on the best fighter on the planet right now.
I will be honest and say that I really wish Oscar retired after his Fernando Vergas fight almost 6 years ago. It was a crowning moment for him. But then he thrilled me with an incredible fight against Mayorga and put up a great battle two years ago against the then best fighter on the planet in Floyd Mayweather junior. Oscar had some incredible battles and in boxing it really takes its toll on a fighter with time. To me Oscar had nothing left to prove and Manny Pacquio was a huge ask. He was much younger and faster and Oscar was coming down in weight again which is tough. Paul Amey joined me at the fight and saw his first superfight. He was pumped and I tried to explain to him the enormity of this fight in the scheme of Oscar's career. I knew Oscar was in for a war and had my fingers crossed that he would deliver one more time, thrill me like he has for more than a decade and then retire. The bookmakers in
Vegas had him as the favourite, but I knew it was a big ask. Regardless, I was definately in the Delahoya camp and was supporting my guy like I had all his fights of the last 12 years.
In the 10th round Oscar did not answer the bell and lost the fight by a TKO. He was well behind on the score cards and Manny Pacquio was the far superior fighter on the night. Oscar was copping a beating, and his corner advised him to not go out for the 10th round. He was in a bad way and Pacqiuo was raining down the punches with precision accuracy and a lot of force. It was tough to watch someone you respect so much get hurt the way Oscar was and I was dissapointed for him. I just hope that this is the last time we see the Golden Boy in the ring. He has nothing to prove, has a promoting empire in Golden Boy Promotions and doesnt need to fight anymore. If I got offered another ticket to an Oscar fight I would not go. Not because I have lost my love of the fight game, but more so because I would not want to watch Oscar compete in the ring again. I have to much respect for Delahoya to watch this again. He thrilled me for years and I prefer to remember the Golden Boy for his speed, power and that dynamite left hook.
All in all it was a wonderful night and I thoroughly enjoyed finally being live at an Oscar Delahoya fight. I might not have got the result I was looking for, but I hope that I can say with certainty in a few years that I was at the last fight of Oscar Delahoya and I did get to see one of boxings great champions compete. I have uploaded a few photos here from the night. I just got back from the Las Vegas Half marathon. The run was on this morning and I figured that being in town for the fight I may aswell have a run. Despite the late night we ligned up and started out. I was never going to run the enitre distance as I had a big run on Friday morning and was planning on a big ride this weekend. When the fight was dropped on me, i decided I would do the run with Paul and we would atleast run down the strip and do about 5-6 miles with the front guys. We did just that, and then I got on my bike and got my scheduled 4 hour ride in which was great. We sat with the front 3 runners for about 4 miles which was nice before turning off and running around the rear of our hotel and into breakfast. Running straight down Las Vegas Boulevard with the road closed is amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only had a few hours sleep last night so its time for a bit of a nap now. Congratulations to all the triathletes and runners i spoke with this morning. I hope you guys and girls had a great day. It was perfect weather for it.