By Sean Crose
Shortly after eleven pm on Friday evening, Oscar De La Hoya released a powerful tweet. “I’m a promoter for the fans,” he wrote, “and I want the ‘fans’ to watch the big fights.” Those words weren’t what made the man’s tweet powerful, however. What made the tweet powerful was the hashtag De La Hoya presumably attached to the end of his statement.
It read: #iwillendcoldwar.
So there we have it. Oscar De La Hoya has come right out and declared he’s going to bring boxing’s detrimental cold war to a close. Can he do it? Maybe. Or, rather, at least partially. For Top Rank’s Bob Arum told me personally during a conference call the other day that he’d be more than happy to do business with De La Hoya again. What’s more, he said his organization planned on working very closely with De La Hoya in the future. And if that weren’t enough, De La Hoya had tweeted earlier on Friday that he was going to meet with “Bob” next week and “possibly talk boxing business.”
It’s safe to say at this point that the situation has clearly become fluid. The Golden Boy himself seems to be taking a cue from Mike Tyson in that he appears to view sobriety as an all around second chance in life. For the record, both men have had far worse ideas in their heads over the years. Besides, anyone who knows someone who’s seriously worked a program or tried to dry up realizes that person is apt to become far more positive and productive as time goes on.
Barring the fact that De La Hoya’s Twitter account may have been tampered with (and if that’s the case, then even the movie star and boxing nut Rosie Perez fell for it), there’s a question that must arise in everyone’s mind: Can De La Hoya do it? Can the man put an end to the corporate conflict that’s been rubbing fans the wrong way for far, far to long?
I think the answer is “yes,” in the sense that his company, Golden Boy, can make peace with Arum’s company, Top Rank. I also think the two companies can mutually agree to work together in the future. That’s nothing but great news for fight fans. Not good news – great news.
Still, there’s another possible issue that may need to be dealt with here. And you probably know what that issue is – the Mayweather, Haymon, Schaefer issue. Let’s start with Golden Boy CEO Schaefer. The Swiss businessman has made it perfectly clear that he’s unwilling to work with Arum again under any circumstances. As for Mayweather, he’s obviously not a fan of Arum’s, either. Heck, he’s not even a fan of De La Hoya’s.
And then there’s Al Haymon, the man who might very well be one of the biggest reasons this cold war has been raging to begin with. It’s easy to make the guy the villain in all this. After all, he’s the one who stands accused by fans of snatching fighters up into his own organization while giving them less than challenging matchups in return.
For the record, those accusations might not be true. The reality is, it’s hard to tell, since Haymon is such a secretive individual. Having said all that, it’s easy to imagine a new cold war breaking out if and when the one between Golden Boy and Top Rank ceases. The sides, of course, would consist of De La Hoya and Arum on the one end and Schaefer, Haymon and Mayweather on the other. Again, no such alliances have been made at the present time. Nor has any such conflict gotten under way. It’s simply a scenario that’s easy to imagine. Very easy to imagine.
Still, that’s no reason for Oscar to stop trying. Let’s hope the man can keep his word, end the cold war and get back to the business of boxing.