Will the De La Hoya-Mayweather Fight Save Boxing?

The sweet science is bruised. But Saturday night's much-anticipated title bout could restore some of its glory


Oscar De La Hoya jumps rope in his training gym in Puerto Rico on April 5, 2007.

How does boxing creep back into the cultural consciousness after a five-year dizzy spell? Easy. Take the sport's most talented fighter, Floyd Mayweather Jr., 30, a self-described "hustler" who was nearly gunned down as a baby and is, kindly, referred to by one promoter as "a huge pain in the ass." Pit him against the sport's last glamour boy, Oscar De La Hoya, 34, bred tough in East L.A. but now a clean-cut corporate sweetheart whose broad, boyish smile has made millions swoon into his corner. Naturally, his charm has also turned off others who would love a guy like Mayweather...

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