It’s the mis-match worth watching! Shaq challenges 10-Time World Boxing Champion Oscar De La Hoya to a 5-round exhibition boxing match. De La Hoya came out of retirement in order to accept Shaq’s challenge. De La Hoya stands at 5’10 while Shaq towers over De La Hoya at 7’1″. Also De La Hoya is out of his weight class as Shaq is more than 300 lbs. Who will win this “David and Goliath” match?
On paper this is a hard one to score. Shaq clearly has a height advantage, but it certainly isn’t De La Hoya’s first time in the ring. He has the experience and you don’t get to be a 10-Time World Boxing Champ with just lucky punches.
Shaq and Oscar casually meet and they both talk a little smack which is all in good fun. They discuss the rules a bit, as they decided to go with a 24×24 foot boxing ring. De La Hoya discusses that he has recruited Bernard Hopkins (aka “The Executioner”) to be his trainer whom Shaq admires greatly. Shaq then tells Oscar that his trainer was going to be Freddie Roach who has trained many boxers including De La Hoya himself.
On to the Press Conference
The press conference is light-hearted and people ask Oscar if he can win and he says that he’s quick and that would be the key to him winning the match. Also that he has something to prove because boxing is his domain and he wouldn’t want to be beat on his home turf. He also made a joke that it would be like Oscar challenging Shaq on the basketball court in a free throw match. The reporters also ask Coach Roach who will win, and he says that no doubt that Shaq has advantages over Oscar.
It’s training time!
Shaq counts on his height advantage and horizontal reach to be his strengths. He’s actually doing well and Coach Roach compliments Shaq for being able to pick up the boxing techniques quickly. Oscar and Hopkins talk strategy and Hopkins advises De La Hoya to stay in the middle of the ring and not to get cornered. The day before the fight, Shaq got to spar with 4-Time Heavy Weight Champ Oliver McCall. Things definitely got a little intense in the ring, and neither Shaq nor McCall held anything back [with their punches].
On to the match
Before the match, they asked the opinions of people on the street on who would win the fight and the public was split. The rules are: 5 rounds and the 1st 4 rounds would last 2 minutes and the final round will last for 1 minute. There are 3 judges and standard boxing scoring would apply. Another episode of “Shaq vs.” without a side bet, so this is all about who can triumph over their opponent. ::Ding Ding:: the match is on! In round 1, Oscar definitely gets some good hits and Shaq uses his reach and gets some hits too but round 1 would go to Oscar. Round 2 Oscar is a little flat footed and Shaq really gets in the game and the round would seem to go to Shaq. Round 3 is about even. It was hard for Oscar to get close enough for a punch but at the same time Shaq was starting to show some fatigue. The round ends and a winded Shaq sits down. Before the next round commences, Shaq puts rumors to rest about the show being scripted because he simply states to the camera: “those punches hurt”! Round 4 begins and De La Hoya has some big hits and then Shaq gets Oscar in a corner but Oscar gets out of it and Oscar had some great moves and got in more good shots. The round is about even but I thought the advantage went to De La Hoya, but the commentators thought that round 4 went to Shaq. It is apparent that Shaq is really getting tired now. Before the final round starts, De La Hoya is interviewed and he was asked how he felt. He says that Shaq’s size was throwing him off a bit but he felt good about the progress of the match. Round 5 is only a minute long so Oscar comes out swinging and Shaq resorts to pushing Oscar as opposed to boxing but Shaq doesn’t give up. Round 5 is over and it’s a tough match to call, but the judges decision is in. The official result is a unanimous decision and the WINNER IS…Oscar De La Hoya!
Tune in next week for the Season Finale of “Shaq vs.”. It’s Shaq vs. Michael Phelps! If you missed this episode or want to watch it again, watch the full episode on ABC.com.