By: Sean Crose
“I think it’s great that Canelo Alvarez is going back to his roots,” Oscar De La Hoya says in a recent Fight Hub video. “I think it’s special. I think it’s a great thing.” While he may seem happy that former protégé Canelo will be fighting a homecoming bout in Mexico this spring, De La Hoya makes it clear in the video that he’s unimpressed with Canelo’s choice of opponent, John Ryder. “In terms of opposition,” says De La Hoya, “I’m not sure exactly what direction he wants to go.”
While there’s no doubt Hall of Famer De La Hoya knows Canelo quite well, (having been Canelo’s promoter) he’s clearly unafraid of criticizing his former fighter. “It seems like he’s regressing inside the ring,” he says of Canelo, “he’s regressing in terms of picking opponents. He’s fighting all these British fighters, but it does nothing for his legacy. I don’t know whose fault that is.” While it’s true, Canelo has fought his share of Englishmen, such as Amir Khan, Callum Smith, and Bill Joe Saunders, the future Hall of Famer has also recently battled the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Caleb Plant, and arch rival Gennady Golovkin respectively.
Still, De La Hoya indicates in the Fight Hub video that he feels Canelo can face more quality opposition. “I don’t want to mention anything,” he says, “but I think Canelo should really analyze carefully who he wants to fight next, whether it’s Bivol, whether it’s Mungia (who, by they way, De La Hoya happens to promote), but he has to step up and fight the tough opposition, the tough guys, the guys who are out there who can give him a fight. It’s not the John Ryders of the world.”
As for De La Hoya himself, the man has his hands full at the moment promoting what is likely the biggest fight in years – Gervonta Davis’ upcoming throwdown with De La Hoya’s own fighter, Ryan Garcia. Indeed, Davis-Garcia represents something of a changing of the guard in boxing, as a new generation readies itself to take the figurative wheel. Still, until proven otherwise, Canelo remains one of the biggest names in the entire fight game.
For his own part, De La Hoya was unquestionably a fighter who took on one challenge after another throughout his career inside the ring. There’s a reason why De La Hoya himself was one of the sport’s biggest names for years. The question, of course, is whether his criticism of Canelo is objective or based on his own falling out with his former protégé.
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