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Oscar De La Hoya shares thought on boxing history’s great speed vs. power matches

Credit: Hogan Photos / GBP

Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and Amir “King” Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) will bring every ounce of their speed and power when they meet in the ring on May 7. Oscar De La Hoya recently sat down to give his thoughts on boxing’s most exciting speed vs. power match ups, from the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ with Foreman vs. Ali to Leonard vs. Hagler and more.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan is a classic match up of speed vs. power, which history tells us can make for some of the most exciting, action packed fights in boxing.

Oscar De La Hoya on George “Big” Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali:

“George Foreman had a record at the time of 40-0, 37 KOs so he was unstoppable, he was knocking everyone out. Muhammad Ali used his speed, used his great footwork and he used the famous rope-a-dope – he lured Foreman into the trap and knocked him out.

“Muhammad Ali was the clear underdog in this fight. Foreman was knocking everybody out, annihilating [Joe] Frazier, Norton and those were Ali’s rivals. Ali was able to pull off the biggest upset at the time by knocking out George Foreman.”

Oscar De La Hoya on Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler:

“1987 and another classic speed vs. power battle. Speed prevails in this one against the most feared fighter on the planet, the great ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler with tremendous punching power. Speed was just too much for power on that night.”

Oscar De La Hoya on Julio César “JC” Chávez vs. Meldrick “The Kid: Taylor:

“Julio César Chávez, Meldrick Taylor, 1990: A classic battle of speed vs. power. Taylor with the speed was beating Chavez every single round, every single minute but at the same time he was taking a lot of punishment.

“In the 12th round guess what happens? Chávez knocks him out with two seconds left and Chávez wins the fight.”

Oscar De La Hoya on De La Hoya vs. Ike “Bazooka” Quartey:

“1999, another classic battle of speed vs. power. My lighting-fast jab and with combinations I was able to drop him. They called him the ‘bazooka’ – he was a tremendous puncher but on that night speed prevailed. I needed the 12th round to win the fight and I was able to pull it off.”

Oscar De La Hoya on De La Hoya vs. Fernando “Ferocious” Vargas:

“In the first round I had to weather the storm. He came right at me, almost knocked me outside the ring, almost knocked me out. I was able to come back in the later rounds and use my speed and my intelligence and we were able to pull off the victory from the bigger and stronger Fernando Vargas.”