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Original Issue

Inside Boxing

Training Day

Oscar De La Hoya's pounding of Yory Boy Campas was a pay-per-view
tune-up for his rematch with Shane Mosley

Having concluded that he'll never win over his critics with his
technical virtuosity, Oscar De La Hoya is apparently hoping to
become one of those artists who is fully appreciated only in
retrospect. Toward that end he is trying to leave behind as
impressive a body of work as possible. For him it's all about
legacy now, about tying up loose ends.

He insists he'll fight only three or four more times before
retiring, perhaps at the end of next year, and he has dispensed
with outside interests as he focuses on his final goals in the
ring. There will be no more singing, no more acting, until after
he tries to settle the score with Shane Mosley and the retired
Felix Trinidad, the only men who have beaten him.

With his intentions so clear, De La Hoya, 30, didn't even try to
cast his undisputed super welterweight title defense against Luis
(Yory Boy) Campas last Saturday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
as anything more than a tune-up for his Sept. 13 rematch with
Mosley. The fight ended when Campas's corner threw in the towel
in the seventh round, giving De La Hoya (36-2) a TKO over a game
but inartistic fighter.

Given that De La Hoya didn't put Yory Boy down for the count, the
fifth consecutive bout in which he's failed to deliver a knockout
punch, De La Hoya knows his doubters persist. "I'm fighting for
history now, only history," he said after finishing with Campas.
"In years to come, when people talk about the great fighters, I
want my name to be one of the first that comes to their minds. I
want to beat Mosley, and maybe Trinidad will come out of
retirement. If I can get revenge for those two fights, I will
have done all any fighter can do."

In the days before the Campas bout De La Hoya, who expected to
earn about $11 million, admitted he was having trouble motivating
himself for what amounted to little more than a sparring
session. He did get interested enough to pound on Campas
consistently, despite a first-round hand injury that took away
his most dangerous weapon, his left hook. "I'm going to get it
looked at, but it's not going to get in the way of the Mosley
fight," he said.

Mosley sat ringside on Saturday and left unimpressed with De La
Hoya's performance, correctly observing that Campas showed none
of the speed and movement that Mosley used to defeat De La Hoya
in a split decision in June 2000. "Campas has a straight-up
style; he takes a lot of punches," Mosley said. "That's not what
Oscar is going to see when he steps in against me."

COLOR PHOTO: WILL HART De La Hoya knocked all manner of things out of Campas, even hismouthpiece.