AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Bob has to submit an offer on how much he is willing to pay for my next fight,” De La Hoya said. “If there is another promoter who can top that, including us at Golden Boy (Promotions), then he won’t be the promoter for my next fight.” After De La Hoya’s loss to Hopkins, he announced he was leaving Arum. De La Hoya also signed Hopkins to promotional and partnership contracts. De La Hoya, 32, is 37-4 with 29 knockouts. He has won world titles in a record six weight classes. Mayorga, 32, is 28-5-1 with 23 knockouts. He won the vacant World Boxing Council junior middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Michele Piccirillo last Aug. 13. Interestingly, Mayorga was coming off an eighth-round technical knockout loss to Felix Trinidad Jr., yet the WBC still made Mayorga its No. 1 contender. As for Piccirillo, at 35 he was already a few years past his prime. “Mayorga, we feel, is a good opponent for me to fight after a year and a half layoff,” De La Hoya said. “It will be an entertaining and interesting fight.” De La Hoya is ranked No. 1 at 154 pounds by the WBC. – De La Hoya is excited about the fight he is promoting Friday in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Juan Carlos Rodriguez (50-20-2, 34 KOs) of Mexico will square off with Wilfredo Negron (25-8, 19 KOs) of Puerto Rico in the 12-round junior welterweight main event. The Spanish-language station Telefutura will televise. Neither fighter, De La Hoya said, knows what it means to take a step back. “These two guys are veteran fighters,” De La Hoya said. “The good thing is, both of these guys have chins, so it is going to be really good; it’s going to be a barnburner.” – Vernon Forrest had the audacity to think he was just going to square off with the aforementioned Mayorga 33 months ago and stop the awkward Nicaraguan with ease. Mayorga, on Jan. 25, 2003, shocked about 2,500 at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula by stopping Forrest in the third round. Taking Mayorga lightly was the biggest mistake of Forrest’s fine career, and he is still trying to make up for it. Forrest (36-2, 27 KOs) returns to the scene of the crime Friday when he takes on Elco Garcia (18-3, 8 KOs) in the junior middleweight main event at Pechanga. The Goossen Tutor Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports Net at 8 p.m. “In that first fight with Mayorga, it was pretty much arrogance,” said Forrest, who lost a rematch to Mayorga via majority decision on July 12, 2003, in Las Vegas. “I really didn’t think much of the guy. I didn’t know anything about him, except that he had beaten (Andrew “Six Heads”) Lewis. “And I was like, ‘Whoop-dee-doo.”‘ Before running into Mayorga, Forrest was coming off of two impressive victories over “Sugar” Shane Mosley. As the undefeated World Boxing Council welterweight champion, he was on top of the world. Mayorga entered the initial fray with Forrest as World Boxing Association champion, but his only telling victory had come in a fifth-round technical knockout of Lewis, who fought only two more times and retired after being stopped by Antonio Margarito in two rounds. Forrest, 34, said he basically forgot about everything he had been trained to do because he didn’t see how Mayorga, a wild puncher with little technical skills, could defeat such a fine, powerful student of the game such as himself. “It was like when you get in there and don’t fight how you trained to fight,” Forrest said Tuesday via telephone. “You just get in there and throw blows and the first one that lands is pretty much going to be who wins.” Before his rematch with Mayorga, some wondered if Forrest might be intimidated by Mayorga, a brash sort who smoked a cigarette in the ring after his knockout of Forrest. Forrest said that was not the case. He pointed out that there was no rematch clause in the contract for their first fight. “I took that rematch because I wanted that fight,” he said. “In the second fight, I thought I learned from my mistakes. I realized that I needed to box this guy, which is what I did. “I thought I did enough to become champion again. Unfortunately, the three people that mattered didn’t think so.” All that said, Forrest said he doesn’t regret anything. He took two years off after his second loss to Mayorga, thanks to three surgeries on his left rotator cuff. Forrest came back last July 16 and stopped Sergio Rios in the second round in Las Vegas. He is hopeful of again fighting for a world championship by summer of next year. Besides, he said, no one can ever take away the celebrity he earned by twice defeating Mosley, who was 38-0 before losing consecutive fights to Forrest in 2002. “It was a great feeling, a great experience, because I got the opportunity to show how good I was as a fighter and what kind of person I am.” — Robert Morales can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2213, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DETAILS — remain to be ironed out, but Oscar De La Hoya on Tuesday said that his next opponent will definitely be former welterweight and current junior middleweight champion Ricardo Mayorga. It will take place next May. De La Hoya, who has not fought since being stopped by Bernard Hopkins in the ninth round in September 2004, said the exact date and site are to be determined. Who will promote the fight is also still a question. “We are going through the process right now with Bob Arum,” De La Hoya said of his longtime promoter, with whom he parted ways — sort of — after the loss to Hopkins. “When we signed the contract to do the fight with Hopkins and with Felix Sturm, he (Arum) had first and last.” In other words, their contract called for Arum to have the right to match any forthcoming offer by a different promoter.