If Floyd-Oscar II,
I’m betting Pretty high

May 22, 2007 1:53 AM

Because there’s nothing on tap this coming week to risk our shekels, we can afford a rare look back in the hope that what we learn can be applied in the future.

Like, in the rematch.

If there is one, then there can be no holding back our wages on Floyd Mayweather Jr. Bet the house, bet the farm, bet the stretch limo. Despite all the so-called "controversy" and the split decision, he beat Oscar de la Hoya quite clearly on Cinco de Mayo. If the Golden Boy is tempted to do it again, I’d be glad to bet on Floyd winning on points again.

The only temptation for Oscar to try again would be money, of which he has some. De la Hoya figures to make at least $40 million — probably considerably more than the first meeting. He would have to lower his expectations quite a bit for a rematch.

No matter what you might hear from those myopic fans of his, many customers will pass on Cinco II.

For good reasons.

First, the fight wasn’t that good. Oh, it was a lot better than I expected, but that was because Oscar was a lot better than I expected. I doubt if he could get himself in such fine condition again for a match that he must know he can’t win. Then, Pretty Boy Floyd wasn’t as good as self-advertised. That I attribute to a combination (a word he seems to have forgotten) of things.

Mayweather is obviously not as good as he says. Still, for this day and age, he’s sufficiently talented to be considered the best around. What I think happened May 5 is that Floyd carried Oscar in the hopes of building a rematch.

Oh, yes, he’s plenty good to pull punches, just like the old-timers did. I think he gave away a substantial part of the early going to:

”¡ Make the outcome look close.

”¡ Allow the always fatiguing Oscar to tire himself out a bit.

”¡ Take no unnecessary chances, as is his wont.

But even with a half-hearted effort, I believe Floyd was far superior. Don’t let the crowd noise get in your eyes the way the judges apparently did, especially Tom Kaczmarek of New Jersey. He somehow scored the fight for de la Hoya.

Mayweather allowed himself to be bulled into the ropes, where he likes it anyway. While he could not win rounds by simply parrying or slipping punches without hitting back, he made it look like he was having a lark. Meanwhile, Oscar flailed away more at his own stamina than at Floyd’s body.

From ringside, I had it eight rounds to four for Mayweather. After watching the HBO tape, I wonder how the hell I ever gave the third round to Oscar and have questions about doing the same with the seventh. As for those silly arguments that if Jerry Roth gave the 12th round to de la Hoya the bout would have been a draw, all I can say is how the hell did Kaczmarek and Chuck Giampa give the finale to Oscar?

By the way, how come nobody noticed Roth for some unknown reason giving Round 10 to Oscar when the other two correctly saw it for Floyd?

Mayweather has never been an offensive juggernaut, but more and more he seems resigned to throwing one or maybe two punches at a time. His defense allows him to get away with that, but it doesn’t make for thrilling fights. That’s another reason a rematch will no do well.

Still, it will be the biggest money fight out there and Mayweather demonstrated his fine business ability by playing for the rematch. He can make much more with a second waltz around the ring with de la Hoya than he could for far riskier tasks like Sugar Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad Jr. and Miguel Cotto.

I suspect, though, that Oscar knows his limitations. He’s 34 and doesn’t have the speed or the power to compete with Mayweather. If he wants to go out a winner, he’d be better served by choosing another playmate — maybe at long last the rematch with Trinidad.

Yes, there’s always the danger with someone as competitive as de la Hoya that he stubbornly refuses to believe that he has met a better man. I hope his wife, father, brother, or all those idiots who thought he beat Mayweather in the first instance, are able to convince him otherwise.

Oscar’s best wasn’t enough. Next time, against a guy who doesn’t hit hard enough to take him out with one or two punches, he might have to absorb a long, tedious beating.

He doesn’t deserve that. Neither does the game.