CARSON, Calif. – Oscar De La Hoya, who has won world titles in six weight classes, makes what he says is his final career appearance in Southern California when he meets Steve Forbes at the Home Depot Center. Here is what each man must do to win:
KEYS TO VICTORY
DE LA HOYA'S KEYS
1. Dictate. De La Hoya is the bigger, stronger man, and he should force Forbes to fight his type of a fight.
1. Defense, defense, defense. The basis of any strategy Forbes has of pulling the upset will be to keep De La Hoya from hitting him with a clean left hook.
2. Work low. Forbes will be anticipating De La Hoya to rush him and attack the head. It presents an opportunity for De La Hoya to attack Forbes' midsection.
2. Step and slide. Forbes can't afford to back up all night. He needs to move forward and then step to the side and punch to create openings and confuse De La Hoya.
3. Use the right. De La Hoya shouldn't fall in love with his left hook. Mixing in the right will give Forbes too much to think about.
3. Fight out of a crouch. Forbes should resist the urge to fight tall. Rather, he should fight out of a crouch to give De La Hoya the smallest possible target.
4. Double and triple the jab. De La Hoya's jab can be a punishing weapon if he uses it enough.
4. Upper body movement. Forbes has to be wary of moving straight in on De La Hoya and walking into a big shot.
RATING THE FIGHTERS
Comparison of Oscar De La Hoya and Steve Forbes on a rating of 1 to 10 in several categories:
DE LA HOYA
Forbes' knockout ratio is less than 25 percent.
De La Hoya's jab is a weapon when he commits to using it.
Forbes is surprisingly good to the body.
Speed and quickness
De La Hoya is bigger but also should be quicker.
Forbes spent much of his time learning defense from the master, Floyd Mayweather Sr.
Forbes never has been down, though he never has fought a puncher like De La Hoya.
De La Hoya frequently fades in the latter third of a fight.
Neither figures to be shocked by anything he sees in there.
Brothers Floyd and Jeff Mayweather will be going at it on opposite sides.
De La Hoya desperately wants the win to get a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.; Forbes wants the win to validate his career and gain other significant matches.
Forbes is talented, but De La Hoya is too big, too strong and too fast and should win a clear unanimous decision.