De La Hoya: Floyd-Conor Has Been Bad For Boxing

Oscar De La Hoya has doubled down on his fierce opposition to the spectacle of Floyd Mayweather’s boxing match against Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor.

De La Hoya accepts that the cross-sport show will sell a huge number of pay per views but issued a fresh warning to buyers that the final product will fall way short of the hype.

“Part of the reason why I’ve been so vocal with Mayweather is that he has made it into business,” De La Hoya said. “It’s just a spectacle. It’s trash talk and once the fight comes around it is a bore. It’s a dud. It should be the other way around.”

Mayweather and McGregor embarked upon a four-city media tour last week that itself generated massive attention and increased the likelihood that the bout will break the all-time PPV record of 4.6 million buys, currently held by Mayweather’s 2015 victory over Manny Pacquiao.

De La Hoya spoke out strongly against Mayweather taking on McGregor when the fight was first made and is unlikely to stop doing so, especially with a superfight of his own to promote. Canelo Alvarez, signed to De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, will take on undefeated Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Sept. 16 in a matchup between two of the finest pound-for-pound boxers on the planet.

Throughout his career, Mayweather’s fights have often promised more than they have delivered, with his defensive, low-action style mightily effective but not always easy on the eye.

“I think – I personally think as a promotor, (Mayweather) has not been good for boxing,” De La Hoya added. “Because fighters now are thinking all about business and not thinking about the fight. And not thinking about the fans.

“People do not want to see somebody run. People do not want to see somebody win a 12-round boxing match by outslicking (the opponent). People pay their hard-earned money to buy a ticket and want to be entertained, not by dancing around and not getting hit. They want to see a show.”

It is a reflection of what sells in the 21st century that a likely total mismatch hyped primarily by the protagonists hurling obscenities and crude remarks at each other is the biggest attraction combat sports can muster.

Yet De La Hoya refused the temptation to encourage Alvarez and Golovkin, both understated characters, to change their style and engage in turbulent verbal warfare ahead of their fight.

He also remembers when Mayweather changed his promotional approach, adopting the “Money” persona. It was before Mayweather fought De La Hoya in 2007, and marked the moment the mantle of boxing’s biggest star changed hands.

“When he was fighting on my undercards, I believe Bob Arum was promoting him at the time, and I really didn’t know of him,” De La Hoya said of the early part of Mayweather’s career. “He wasn’t really making any kind of noise or progress in terms of market value. So when I fought him he decided to play the villain, which made a huge difference.

“So I guess he figured it out, by playing the villain he can stir up some things and create attention for himself. But my thinking is that it’s just not my style. Sugar Ray Leonard did the same thing without talking trash and by conducting himself in a positive way.

“There are a lot of fighters who have not used that system that Mayweather uses. It is just not my cup of tea.”

Original Story: USA Today

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