OSCAR PROVES SCIENCE EXACT.Byline: PAUL OBERJUERGE
LAS VEGAS - Brains beat brawn brawn
1. Solid and well-developed muscles, especially of the arms and legs.
2. Muscular strength and power.
3. Chiefly British The meat of a boar.
4. Headcheese. . Skill trumped power. Finesse beat back brute force.
That was one satisfying fight, unless you root for barbarians at the gate. Unless you like seeing bullies have their way. The smaller, older, classier boxer defeated the younger, bigger, muscle-ripped puncher.
They call boxing ``the sweet science,'' and from time to time it actually is. Oscar De La Hoya Oscar de la Hoya (IPA pronunciation: [ˈɑs.kɛɹ dɛ.lɑ.ˈhɔɪ.jɑ]) (born February 4, 1973) — nicknamed the Golden Boy proved it Saturday night at the packed Mandalay Bay Events Center Mandalay Bay Events Center is a 12,000 seat indoor arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is part of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It has hosted in the past top-rank boxing and UFC events, as well as concerts with artists like Destiny's Child and Shakira. when he solved a bigger, dangerous young man named Fernando Vargas, and defeated him for the 154-pound weight class titles after 11 scintillating scin·til·late
v. scin·til·lat·ed, scin·til·lat·ing, scin·til·lates
1. To throw off sparks; flash.
2. To sparkle or shine. See Synonyms at flash.
De La Hoya first backed Vargas off. Then he cut him up. Then he knocked him out.
Hurrah for the forces of civilization. Such as they are in the art of boxing.
This is a brutal sport, absolutely. Men die every year in the execution of it, and it is ugly as a prison riot when sociopathic so·ci·o·path
One who is affected with a personality disorder marked by antisocial behavior.
so brutes such as Mike Tyson are in the ring.
But when a boxer such as De La Hoya, a classically trained fighter with resources and guile and heart and wit, can survive the onslaught of a force of nature like Fernando Vargas, it leaves the spectator in deep appreciation of the art of self-defense inside the squared circle.
We knew it would be an emotional fight. Vargas has been gunning for De La Hoya for nearly a decade. Ever since 1993, he said, when he slipped in the snow while training at Big Bear Lake and De La Hoya saw him and laughed at him. An incident De La Hoya, by the way, does not recall.
Vargas nurtured the embarrassment from the purported slight, and stoked stoked
1. Exhilarated or excited.
2. Being or feeling high or intoxicated, especially from a drug. it into loathing, and he never missed a chance to belittle be·lit·tle
tr.v. be·lit·tled, be·lit·tling, be·lit·tles
1. To represent or speak of as contemptibly small or unimportant; disparage: a person who belittled our efforts to do the job right. and begrudge be·grudge
tr.v. be·grudged, be·grudg·ing, be·grudg·es
1. To envy the possession or enjoyment of: She begrudged him his youth. See Synonyms at envy.
2. the man who went on to become the nation's wealthiest and most popular nonheavyweight.
Vargas accused De La Hoya of dodging him, even when the idea of De La Hoya fighting his fellow Mexican-American made zero economic sense. Vargas questioned his manhood, he criticized his lifestyle, he declared him to be a sort of cultural sellout who wished he were Anglo.
That ethnic undertow made this a huge fight in the Latino community. It was as if everyone with a drop of Mexican heritage was forced to choose sides, and many went with Vargas, perceived to be the fearless, to-the-death warrior worshipped by those most caught up in the machismo machismo
Exaggerated pride in masculinity, perceived as power, often coupled with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of consequences. In machismo there is supreme valuation of characteristics culturally associated with the masculine and a denigration of mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. .
Others, meanwhile, were attracted to the handsome, articulate, wealthy De La Hoya, who seems to have a life beyond hard training and heavy bags.
The yapping before the fight reached critical mass, and even De La Hoya at times got caught up in it. Eventually, it was clear De La Hoya would be just as pleased to shut up Vargas as Vargas would be to pummel pum·mel
tr.v. pum·meled also pum·melled, pum·mel·ing also pum·mel·ling, pum·mels also pum·mels
To beat, as with the fists; pommel: The angry crowd pummeled the thief. some sheen off the Golden Boy.
What made Saturday's fight special was that it lived up to its histrionics. Which happens about once in 10 fights in this sport.
In the early rounds, De La Hoya, 29, was a man in trouble. Vargas was bulked up like an NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga linebacker, and when he got De La Hoya on the ropes it looked as if the seemingly frail De La Hoya couldn't possibly stand up to the heavy punishment the 24-year-old Vargas was throwing at him.
But the fight turned about the sixth round. De La Hoya put his brain to work, and it was fascinating to watch. He solved every problem Vargas created.
To avoid the danger of the ropes, he kept moving at Vargas, snapping that left jab for which he is justly famous, controlling the ring. To fend off Vargas' left hook, he kept his right hand low. To befuddle be·fud·dle
tr.v. be·fud·dled, be·fud·dling, be·fud·dles
1. To confuse; perplex. See Synonyms at confuse.
2. To stupefy with or as if with alcoholic drink.
Verb 1. the slower puncher, he got up on his toes and moved.
De La Hoya took control of the fight, but he didn't yet go for the knockout. He knew it was premature.
He dominated every round from the sixth forward, save the ninth, and then in the 11th he got off first, yet again, feinting with his right and then clocking Vargas with a powerful left hook, a punch with the kind of power Vargas insisted De La Hoya didn't own.
And Vargas went down like a sack of flour. He bounced up, blood streaming from the deep gash beneath his right eye, but De La Hoya battered him with 14 unanswered punches in the corner, and referee Joe Cortez stopped it.
No one went away disappointed, aside from Vargas and his camp. It was a great fight, crowded with action, with both fighters having stretches of excellence.
As De La Hoya readily conceded, Vargas is no day at the beach. We doubt Oscar will be doing much partying for the next week or so. Oscar had his nose bloodied, and took dozens of heavy punches.
No one doubts Vargas' courage or his resolve, or his training. But he does not have the skill and the class of a De La Hoya, and his stream of insults will go down as the empty bleats of a lesser man.
The right guy won the fight. On any level you care to identify. The more intelligent man won, the classier man won, the more-skilled man won. Sometimes it happens like that, in boxing, and it's those moments when the whole bizarre circus seems like a useful exercise, after all.
Oscar De La Hoya, left, unleashes a solid left during a flurry in the 11th round of his victory Saturday over Fernando Vargas.
Gene Blevins/Daily News