The Cold War Between De La Hoya and Mayweather

by B.A. Cass

In August, Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.

As a man of principle, De La Hoya was disgusted. He felt Mayweather was degrading the sport of boxing. Many boxing fans agreed.

How is it then that this man of principle could turn around not three months later and challenge McGregor to a fight? De La Hoya should be called out for his hypocrisy.

De La Hoya has made some ridiculous assertions in the past two weeks, such as he the idea that he’s in the best shape of his life. He also claims that he’s “faster than ever, and stronger than ever” and that he has been “secretly training.” His comments have prompted some Twitter users to question whether De La Hoya has had a drug or alcohol relapse. His behavior seems very erratic.

It’s no coincidence that several days after De La Hoya challenged McGregor to a fight Mayweather released a training video.

This video prompted people to speculate whether Mayweather was contemplating a return to the ring. He later made an emphatic statement reiterating his commitment to retirement. So then why tease people by releasing such a video? I think it’s obvious why. He’s trying to upstage De La Hoya.

This isn’t the first time Mayweather has teased us with a video of him working out. He released a similar video on October 18.

Perhaps this is something he does about once a month as a way of getting out of his Vegas strip club and staying relevant in the boxing world. But here’s an interesting fact: Mayweather posted this video the day after the press conference for the Cotto vs. Ali fight, which De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, happens to be promoting. Coincidence? Not a chance.

Their feud goes back a long way.

In his prime, Oscar De La Hoya was one of the biggest draws in the sport. He was a recognizable name, and he was very handsome. His fights attracted thousands upon thousands of fans and made the people who promoted his fights lots of money. Floyd Mayweather at 135 pounds—then still “Pretty Boy Floyd and not yet “Money Mayweather”—was a brilliant and often dangerous fighter. When he jumped up to 150 to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather did so knowing that De La Hoya would be the naturally bigger man. But Mayweather needed that fight, needed it way more than De La Hoya. Just by putting himself in the ring with De La Hoya, Mayweather elevated himself in the boxing world and gained more attention than he had ever had before.

In the lead up to their fight, Mayweather pulled a lot of antics—antics which would make McGregor’s recent antics seem boyish and dull. Mayweather did everything he could to taunt and confuse De La Hoya, including showing up to a press conference with a chicken who he said was De La Hoya and who he called the “Golden Girl,” alluding to the fact that De La Hoya was caught wearing women’s clothes at a sex party.

Mayweather won the fight handily. Over the years, De La Hoya has made every attempt possible to minimize Floyd’s obvious talents.

The two met in the ring again in 2013, this time by proxy. The fight I’m referring to is Mayweather vs. “Canelo” Alvarez. By this time, of course, De La Hoya was retired and running Golden Boy Promotions full time. Canelo was, and still remains, Golden Boy Promotion’s biggest draw. If De La Hoya could not beat Mayweather himself, then perhaps the number one fighter in his stable could.

That didn’t happen. Mayweather schooled a very youthful looking Canelo.

Win number two for Mayweather.

Mayweather and De La Hoya have since exchanged barbs. The animosity between them is palpable, even if they have been able to work together to promote fights. I’d like to posit that even though Mayweather has gotten the best of the De La Hoya at least twice, he has never liked the idea that the De La Hoya was at one time the bigger star. Mayweather chose to craft himself into boxing’s leading villain and De La Hoya, even after his many scandals, remains more beloved among boxing fans. And I think it’s obvious that De La Hoya has never liked the fact that he was beaten by Mayweather twice—once in person, once by proxy. He can’t seem to let it go.

Mayweather can’t seem to let his grudge go either.

Mayweather, as we all know, is not just a boxing star but a powerful figure behind the scenes. Mayweather promotions certainly had a say in determining when the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would take place. And they chose a date just three weeks before the already scheduled fight between Canelo and GGG, which was one of the most anticipated fights in boxing. How can we view the date that they selected as anything but an attempt to upstage De La Hoya and Golden Goy Promotions fight between Canelo and GGG?

What’s going on here is nothing more than a battle between two middle-age men who can’t refrain from acting like little boys. They’ve never liked each other, and now it seems they’ve engaged in a cold war of sorts, a passive feud that no one really cares to witness.

Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch

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