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Sunset Thomas On the De la Hoya Fight

Sunset Thomas writes on

When Oscar De la Hoya decided not to answer the bell at the start of the 8th Round at the MGM on Saturday night, I actually started to cry. Frankie Gambino (my enigmatic apparition of an associate) on the other hand, literally spit his disgust, “That would have never happened in my day!” he roared.

If you don’t already know, Frankie Gambino fought once—in 1943—in the Golden Age of Boxing (not to be confused with the Golden Boy of Boxing—as he is quick to point out).

Anyways, Frankie was pissed. “Who doesn’t get up and fight?” he ranted. “He still had one good eye and honestly he never looked hurt—maybe his pride but not his body. Why in my day, your corner would toss in the towel and if you could find it and lift it, you’d toss it back…”

I tried to reason. “Frankie,” I said, “Oscar couldn’t hit him. There were only four rounds left and Oscar had nothing left…”

“Nothing left!” Frankie fumed. “If he had anything he left it in his scrapbook! That guy never threw a meaningful punch. He never committed himself to take the punches that little Filipino fellow peppered him with. It’s one thing to get beat, it’s another to lie down and take a whooping. If I’da bet the bum I’d be knocking on his door trying to get my money back!”

There was nothing I could say. Frankie wasn’t buying it. He simply felt that Oscar fought without heart. He thought Manny Pacquiao was a tough, clever fighter—not a ton of power but plenty of zip. And he felt (strongly) that Oscar, like so many fighters before him, had overstayed his welcome in the squared circle…

“Rocky Marciano,” he roared.
“Lennox Lewis,” I added.
“Who names a kid after a hospital,” he cracked.
“Who names a kid after a mineral?” I countered.

The point of our little Tete-e-tete was, of course, that fighters sadly and sometimes tragically don’t get out when they should.

Often times it’s because of poor financial management (obviously not the case with De la Hoya), but more often than not it’s a case of ego—of the warrior not heeding Frank Sinatra’s warning that “…and now the days grow short, I’m in the Autumn of the year…”

Oscar, though he looked okay against Steve Forbes (whom Frankie Gambino called ‘nothing but a so-so sparring partner’), had nothing. No zip. No zig. No zag. Nada! When he didn’t gain anything but a lousy two pounds the day of the fight (while Pac-man packed on nearly seven), you had to feel something was amiss.

Frankie said he knew it was over right then. He asked me if I remembered when Arturo Gatti retired Joey Gamache in Madison Square Garden. How both had weighed-in at the 140 limit but how Gatti came into the ring closer to 160. And how Gatti almost killed the kid.

Frankie said it was unnatural for De la Hoya to gain so little weight and that it proved his body was messed up and the first round proved his heart wasn’t in it—the heart part is what pissed off Frankie the most.

I cried because I think it’s sad when it’s over. Like when the little boy’s dad had to shoot Old Yeller at the end of the movie, or more recently, when I found out my idol Bettie Page had fallen into a coma. See I think it’s sad. Even though you know it’s coming, like a straight right after the Ali-Shuffle and there isn’t a dang thing you can do about it. Even though that T.S. Eliot fella poignantly pontificated about how life doesn’t end with a bang, but a whimper—you just, call it sentimental or just plum stupid, but you just can’t bring yourself to accept the reality…

So I cried.

Unlike Frankie Gambino, however, I wasn’t so sure of the outcome until the Fourth Round. I gave Pac Man the first two—decisively. But when the Third rolled around Oscar finally seemed to loosen up a little and throw his jab. He seemed to have settled down some—finding a rhythm and then came the Fourth!

By this time Frankie was wondering how to spend his winnings. He’d picked Pacquiao (in fact he was so damn cocksure he predicated a 2nd Round K.O.), but me, I was silently hoping that Oscar had a plan—he didn’t.

By the end of the fourth, Oscar was back to being a sluggish and slow, plodding pug, with absolutely no punch! And even though the Fifth Round was perhaps the Golden Boys best, it still wasn’t enough for me to give it to him. In fact, I gave Pac Man each and every round.

After Oscar quit on his stool—and he did quit, I mean he never officially said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to his corners question about stopping the fight (in fact, they asked if he wanted to go one more—and his taking the 5th sealed his fate).

That’s when Frankie Gambino said, “It’s déjà vu all over again” and the specter of Roberto Duran (a once fearless warrior equally known as the “No Mas Man”) permeated the proceedings…

Yep, it was a sad night. Sad to see the Lion go out like a lamb. “Sadder,” said Frankie, “to have paid fifty-four clams!” (the price of Pay-Per-View)…

Now Pac Man will fight Ricky Hatton and that’ll be a hoot. The Filipino’s and the Brits will turn the MGM into a flag-waving, barn-burner of a battle. However, judging from Hatton’s last two lackadaisical performances and his penchant for hitting every pub on the Strip—instead of Bangers, the Brit may get a taste of Bangus!

Sunset’s XXX Snippet

More on my induction to the Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame: Hey folks, this is one of highest honors that can be bestowed on an Adult Star. Two of my all-time hero’s, Veronica Hart (who directed me in Misty Beethoven) and Nina Hartley were among the first inductees some 19 years ago!

Joining me in the class of ’09 are Tom Byron, Shane and Jerry Damiano who directed the legendary classic Deep Throat. Jerry passed away in 2008. In boxing they honor those fighters whom have fallen by ringing the bell ten times–in my business we all turn on our vibrators for ten seconds to honor our passed patrons!


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