Sunday, May 4, 2008
I sincerely meant no disrespect to Oscar De La Hoya at the postfight press conference. I wanted to get a question in about why he took on partial ownership of the Houston Dynamo, and though I was willing to acknowledge the publicity he garnered for the team by fighting in their colors, I also wanted to ask about his level of involvement this year, since he has two other big farewell fights coming up. It was intimidating, though, to be surrounded by so many boxing reporters, because I was pretty sure they didn't care much about soccer. I raised my hand anyway, trying to claim the traveling microphone being used for questioning. "One more," said the moderator.
I was relieved to be handed the microphone and blurted out my questions.
"Oscar, you're so respected in the boxing world - why take on owning a soccer team? And are you going to have time, with all your fights, to do anything with the Dynamo besides wear their colors?"
I didn't expect the reaction that followed. Heads swiveled, and murmurs of surprise/disapproval/confusion broke out. Oscar seemed a bit stunned. Bernard Hopkins, hovering over his shoulder, looked like he was ready to walk off the dais to confront me. The moderator glared at me, asked who I was writing for, and informed me my question was "smart-ass". I guess I have to work on my polite phrasing, but I thought the questions were legitimate.