HOLLYWOOD — It was Hollywood’s version of a unification fight: Two guys from East L.A., Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, brought stars from the Westside to the Staples Center downtown for a night of partying and pugilism.
At an outdoor soiree hosted by HBO Sports, A-listers chewed the fat about the fight game.
Billy Crystal, who’s exec producing and directing HBO’s baseball docudrama “61*,” joked about the risk of matching L.A.sports fans with a major fight. “This is something you can’t leave early for,” said Crystal.
Improv impresario Bud Friedman said he liked Mosley because “he lies about his height.” Bill Maher claimed the speedy punches thrown by the two fighters were hard to follow: “It all happened so quickly. It was like a mugging. I didn’t see anything.”
Among those jabbing over pre-fight hors d’oeuvres or postfight cappuccinos were Time Warner topper Gerald Levin, HBO Films topper Colin Callender, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pamela Anderson, Charles S. Dutton, Andy Garcia, featherweight champ Prince Naseem Hamed, David E. Kelley, Geraldo Rivera, Chris Rock, Aida Turturro, Keenan, Damon and Marlon Wayans, Raquel Welch and Robert Wuhl.
Joining them for the action ringside were Muhammad Ali, Kobe Bryant, Drew Carey, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Mel Gibson, Salma Hayak, Dustin Hoffman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jack Nicholson, Edward Norton, Shaquille O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Garry Shandling, Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone and Denzel Washington.
HBO Sports president Seth Abraham said HBO pay-per-view arm TVKO is talking with the Staples Center about another big fight in January, “possibly with the winner.”
With big-draw De La Hoya vanquished, however, Mosley may need help to fill seats. So HBO might find itself calling “Come back, Oscar!” along with “Come back, Shane!”