Article on Hopkins vs Oscar

De La Hoya, Hopkins deal on for Sept 18 fight:
LAS VEGAS (AP) & The dates are set and so is the site. Now all promoter Bob Arum needs to do is get a signature from middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins to complete his two-fight deal with Oscar De La Hoya.

Arum said he finalized a handshake deal Monday for the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas to host a June 5 fight card featuring Hopkins and De La Hoya in separate bouts. If the two win as expected, they will meet Sept. 18 at the MGM for the middleweight title.

Arum said Hopkins has already agreed to terms and is coming to Las Vegas on Wednesday to sign his contract. The first news conference promoting the fights will be next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

It's going to be the biggest non-heavyweight fight in
history," Arum said. aI'm looking to make this another
(Marvelous Marvin) Hagler-(Sugar Ray) Leonard."

Though Arum declined to discuss figures, he did not dispute previous reports that De La Hoya could make up to $30 million for the two fights while Hopkins will make at least $10 million.

De La Hoya, who lost his 154-pound title fight to Shane Mosley last September, will move up to middleweight to take on Felix Sturm of Germany on the June 5 card while Hopkins will defend his undisputed titles against Robert Allen, who he has fought twice already.

Assuming De La Hoya and Hopkins win, they would meet in September at a contract weight of 157 pounds.

Arum said the two-fight series came together after De La Hoya couldn't get rematches with Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas, while it is still unclear whether Felix Trinidad has come out of retirement.

Oscar wanted to fight Hopkins last but everybody else was pricing themselves out of the market," Arum said. Rather than wait and fight Hopkins at the end, he put him up front instead."

De La Hoya, who in the past has been criticized for picking his opponents carefully, will likely enter the ring as an underdog for the first time in his career in September.

Hopkins is 39, but he shows no sign of age and has defended his middleweight title 17 times. Hopkins stopped Trinidad in the 12th round in September 2001 in his biggest fight to date, but complained before his last fight in December against William Joppy that De La Hoya was ducking him.

Am I being a bully by calling Oscar out?" Hopkins asked. Why is the media treating Oscar like a prima donna? I beat the man (Trinidad) who beat Oscar, so why wouldn't the public want to see me fight him?"

Arum predicted the fight could top not only the biggest pay-per-view sales of a non-heavyweight fight, but the biggest pay-per-view of any fight. That mark was set in 1997 when the second fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield was bought in 1.99 million homes.