By: Hans Themistode
Things can change immensely in a short time span. COVID-19 has proven that statement to be true as most of the world is still adjusting to life with the infectious disease. In the case of rising welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz, he’s proving that his professional career is also changing in just the blink of an eye.
After winning ESPN’s boxing prospect of the year in 2019, Ortiz now finds himself on the fast track to a world title as he takes on former belt holder Maurice Hooker on March 20th, in his hometown Dallas area. While Ortiz is solely focused on convincing everyone that he is truly a player at 147-pounds, promoter Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t need to be convinced any longer.
Although he might be just 22-years-old, De La Hoya has sat ringside at nearly every single one of the Dallas native’s fights and has witnessed body after body crumple in agony after getting blasted by his young star. Not only is De La Hoya under the impression that Ortiz will get past Hooker in roughly two months but he ultimately believes that no matter who is placed in front of him, the results will be the same.
“When you think about Vergil Ortiz, he has to be the best fighter out there at 147, or any in weight class for that matter,” said De La Hoya during a recent press conference. “I’ve said this all along, Vergil Ortiz will beat anybody at 147 right now.”
In the case of Hooker, he’ll present a much sterner test for Ortiz than what he has grown accustomed to. Not only has the 31-year-old former titlist faced fighters similar to Ortiz and managed to walk right through them but he’ll also have every physical advantage checked on his side of the boxes, including a ridiculous ten-inch reach over his man.
All of those reasons and more, have led De La Hoya to having a few restless nights as he admits it won’t be a walk in the park.
“I think Hooker has the advantage. He’s going to present to Vergil different movements, footwork, speed and mannerisms. They’re all totally different than what Vergil has been used to fighting. He’s fast, explosive and very elusive – it’s going to be different for Vergil. The question is will he pass that test? Will he knock Hooker out? Vergil Ortiz has been knocking everybody out so we want to see Vergil go several rounds.”
With Hooker holding the upper hand in nearly every category other than youth, many have questioned why on earth would De La Hoya place his young and quite possibly brightest star, in harm’s way with only 16 fights under his belt? For the former multiple division champion, however, he views the number of fights that Ortiz has accrued during his career as just that, merely a number.
Once upon a time, De La Hoya was in the same position as Ortiz. Just like the 2014 Hall of Famer managed to pass several tests placed in front of him at a young age, De La Hoya believes both he and Ortiz are cut from the same cloth. Should his young star leave the ring with another explosive victory on the night, then he’ll be well on his way to superstardom.
“I fought for my first world title when I had 11 fights. I believe Vergil Ortiz is on the verge of becoming a superstar. I think skies the limit if he gets past Hooker.”
By: Hans Themistode
The laughs were both loud and immediate.
The mere thought of Oscar De La Hoya being competitive with anyone in the top ten of the middleweight division, let alone someone the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG) was just sheer lunacy. Yet, no matter how many people laughed in his face and warned him of the beating he would receive, De La Hoya continued to push the notion that he could not only compete with Golovkin but flat out beat him.
While the laughter surrounding their possible showdown continues, newly elected hall of famer Bernard Hopkins, simply can’t understand what’s so funny.
“GGG declines every year,” said Hopkins during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “What he has left is always his punch. If Oscar was going to come back and I had a say in it, I would take GGG.”
That aforementioned punch Hopkins alluded to is still alive and well. In Golovkin’s most recent ring appearance the current IBF middleweight belt holder punished mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta, dropping him four times before ultimately stopping him in the seventh round. But while many viewed his performance as a vintage one, Hopkins wasn’t fooled with what he saw.
“GGG always had and always will have a punch but that is declining. Even in the win recently, don’t let that fight fool you. It don’t fool these eyes.”
Regardless of Hopkins’s assumption that Golovkin is slowing down, many in boxing circles believe De La Hoya’s chances of winning their showdown would be slim to none. For the former multiple division belt holder, he last appeared in the ring nearly a decade a half ago in 2008. On a cold December night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, De La Hoya received the worst beating of his career at the hands of Manny Pacquiao which resulted in an eighth-round stoppage defeat.
Still, De La Hoya is reportedly working on his craft behind the scenes as he continues his comeback story. Should he get his wish and face Golovkin next, not only does Hopkins back his business partner in picking up the win but he also has a date in mind.
“GGG is a hall of famer, no doubt. He earned his position but Oscar has seen every style and been in there with better talent. Oscar would win by unanimous decision. I would let Oscar know that let’s start calling this guy out for September. I would like to see that fight before 2021 is out.”
By: Hans Themistode
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia has heard it all. The flamboyant 22-year-old has been flattered with comments surrounding his good looks and sublime boxing skills. But he’s also heard the chatter revolving around his subpar opponents and penchant for garnering more attention due to his flashy combinations on the heavy bag as opposed to the talent he has displayed in the ring.
Despite the noise, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has thrown his blinders on and focused solely on Luke Campbell, his opponent this coming weekend. While the 22-year-old by and large has worked diligently with trainer Eddy Reynoso, that doesn’t mean he isn’t listening and taking mental notes.
“He hears those whispers,” said promoter of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya to Fight Hub TV. “How he can’t be a world champion and how he can’t beat this guy or that guy but that’s fuel to the flame. This is the perfect fight where he can really shine and become a superstar.”
In terms of his contemporaries such as Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Devin Haney – Garcia, according to most, is viewed as inferior. Yet, when juxtaposed to his opponent this Saturday night in Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), Garcia finds himself as a heavy favorite, something De La Hoya struggles to wrap his mind around.
“A lot of people are saying that but its mind-boggling to me how spread out the favoritism is but it’s a dangerous fight. This is a very dangerous fight for Ryan Garcia. It won’t be a walk in the park but I still feel that Ryan Garcia is going to make a statement in this fight.”
Since teaming up with his newfound trainer in Eddy Reynoso roughly a year and a half ago, the pair have outdone their previous performances. In his last two showdowns, Garcia has barely broken a sweat, needing less than two minutes, to care of business.
Regardless of Campbell winning Olympic gold in 2012 and despite going the distance with some of the best fighters in the lightweight division such as Jorge Linares and the aforementioned Vasiliy Lomachenko, Garcia doesn’t expect a long night at the office.
For De La Hoya however, beating Campbell is something he’s confident that Garcia will do. Stopping him on the other hand, will take something special.
“I can see Ryan getting frustrated a bit because he doesn’t knock him out in the first few rounds but that’s where you have to expose your greatness. If you’re destined to be great then that’s when you have to show it. You have to adjust. You have to make those little adjustments to figure out your opponent. Can Ryan Garcia knockout Luke Campbell? Absolutely, if he has greatness in him so we’ll see January 2nd.”
By: Hans Themistode
Following most of his contests, Gennadiy Golovkin’s smile is often time’s drenched in blood. Reason being is because he has dealt an unnatural amount of damage to his opponent’s. Despite his seek and destroy nature, Golovkin has always wished his opponents well either before they face off in the ring or after they leave said ring in a stretcher.
In the case of 2014 hall of famer Oscar De La Hoya however, Golovkin doesn’t have any kind words to share with the former six-division champion, only a cruel and deadly warning.
“Everything involving Gennady Golovkin for him is a nightmare,” said Golovkin to AFP during a recent interview.
The words of Golovkin stem from an apparent call out from De La Hoya just a few months ago. Although he officially hung up the gloves in December of 2008 following a one-sided loss against Manny Pacquiao, De La Hoya expressed a desire to make a return to the ring. Unlike other former all-time greats such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. who have decided to partake in exhibition bouts, De La Hoya is interested in taking on some of the best fighters in the world, including Golovkin.
Throughout the entirety of his 14-year career, the Kazakhstan product has never been viewed as a walk in the park. For De La Hoya though, beating Golovkin would be a breeze, even at the age of 47.
“You know how easy GGG would be for me? Oh, my gosh,” said De La Hoya during an interview with BoxingScene. “I always took a good shot and I always took apart fighters like him. In my mind, it would be that easy.”
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) of course, didn’t appreciate becoming the target of a De La Hoya comeback fight but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t welcome it. Considering the disdain that the current IBF middleweight belt holder has for the former pound for pound star, a simple win wouldn’t placate him, even if it came via stoppage. No, if Golovkin and De La Hoya were to meet, he would attempt something much more sinister than a knockout victory.
“You know Oscar, you know how dirty his mouth is? He can say whatever. But let me put it this way – If I got an opportunity to legally kill a person in the ring, I might seize it.”
By: Hans Themistode
With Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. set to end their retirement to face one another, Oscar De La Hoya has been quietly working on his own comeback. The former six-division world titlist announced his intentions to pick up the boxing gloves once again after being push through the retirement door by Manny Pacquiao in 2008.
On the night, De La Hoya, a 2-1 favorite, was outboxed thoroughly before getting pummeled in the eighth round. Shortly after his defeat, De La Hoya would announce his retirement.
Up until recently, the former Olympic gold medalist appeared perfectly content as the head man of Golden Boy Promotions as he helped push the next generation of stars. Yet, with many of his contemporaries announcing comebacks after long hiatuses, De La Hoya did the same.
An opponent for the 2014 hall of famer was non-existent. With that being said, De La Hoya did express a desire to compete against the best at either 154 or 160 pounds. At the moment, Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG) would fit into that criteria. He currently holds the IBF world title and has always been viewed as one of the biggest punchers in all of boxing. Although he has mostly annihilated everyone in his path, De La Hoya believes he would make it look easy against him, even at the age of 47.
“You know how easy GGG would be for me?” said De La Hoya to Boxingscene.com. “Oh my gosh. It would be a high-profile fight, that’s for sure. I always took a good shot and I always took apart fighters like him. In my mind, it would be that easy. I would definitely consider it.”
Before Golovkin can even consider tangling with De La Hoya, he will have to get past mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta on December 18th. Should the Kazakhstan star pick up the win, he will be all alone in middleweight history as a victory would represent his 21st title defense, a middleweight record.
Still, even if Golovkin does what most expect, which is to win dominantly, the long time belt holder could be on the cusp of his third contest with Canelo Alvarez in March of 2021.
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez isn’t signed by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Nor do they have any sort of relationship with one another, but as the 2014 hall of famer sat back in his palatial estate and watched Lopez pull off the massive upset against unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko this past weekend, De La Hoya couldn’t help but feel prideful in what he just witnessed.
“I’m really proud of him,” said De La Hoya to TMZ during a recent interview. “He shocked the world.”
De La Hoya, like most observers, believed that Lomachenko was going to be too much for the 23 year old. Yet, when the bell rang, the Ukrainian looked passive and hesitant. Lopez to his credit, took full advantage and dominated the first half of their contest. The latter portion of their matchup was flipped however, as Lomachenko pressed his foot on the gas and gave his younger opponent hell for the duration of their fight. With that being said, as the final scores indicated, it was far too late.
Now, with the biggest win of his career under his belt and four world titles draped around his shoulders, De La Hoya is heaping as much praise as possible on the young man.
“I really thought that Lomachenko was going to use his experience, well, I think Lomachenko did use his experience but in the first six rounds maybe he waited too long. Lomachenko came in strong in the end but it was too late. I think Teofimo looked amazing, he showed his true colors. I’m proud of him and I think he is the future of the lightweight division.”
With no rematch clause in their original contract, Lopez isn’t obligated to give Lomachenko a rematch. That in turn, leaves the door wide open for other intriguing matchups, including a possible unification contest with WBC belt holder Devin Haney. Lopez himself has expressed interest in facing his championship counterpart, but as De La Hoya continued his interview, he took some time to put on his matchmaker hat.
“There are a lot of great fights for him including our very own Ryan Garcia which would be a massive, massive fight.”
Garcia, 22, has been clamoring for his own shot at the big leagues for several months now and come December 5th, he’ll get his wish.
Perpetual lightweight contender and multiple-time title challenger in Luke Campbell will match up against the young Garcia. With a plethora of fringe contenders on his resume, Campbell, at least on paper, represents the first real challenge for Garcia.
Regardless of that, De La Hoya expects Garcia to have his hand raised at the end of the night.
“His December 5th, fight against Luke Campbell isn’t a walk in the park. Campbell went the distance with Lomachenko and Jorge Linares so this is a real true test for Ryan Garcia. But when he gets past this test December 5th, then he has to go after the top dogs. A matchup with Lopez would be a classic. I can’t wait for that fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
For months now, Ryan Garcia hammered away at a heavy bag with a picture of Luke Campbell plastered to it. The two lightweight contenders had long agreed to terms for a matchup between them, but an official date had never been set.
Now, after demanding one, Garcia can circle December 5th on his calendar.
On paper, Campbell appears to be the toughest test for the 22 year old Garcia. He was after all a 2012 Olympic gold medalist. And although he has fallen short on the biggest of stages in his pro career, Campbell has never been known as an easy out.
Garcia on the other hand, isn’t fazed by the accomplishments of his opponents or the naysayers that are quick to tell him that this step up in competition is coming a bit too early for him. With four straight knockouts, the California native is chomping at the bit to prove that the hype surrounding him is absolutely real.
“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” said Garcia on a recent Golden Boy press release. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night… or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and December 5th just the start of it.”
While Garcia has enjoyed success both inside and outside of the ring, the flamboyant 22 year old has never quite seen eye to eye with promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Garcia has openly criticized him for failing to pay him what he believes he deserves, and his failure to acknowledge him as one of boxing’s biggest stars. Although it isn’t clear if their relationship has improved, De La Hoya had no issue heaping mountains of praise on his young star earlier today.
“For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long,” said De La Hoya. “Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell. While transitioning Ryan’s enormous social media following to DAZN viewers is good business for Ryan, Golden Boy and DAZN, it’s more importantly good for the sport of boxing, which needs a shot in the arm right now more than ever. For the next months, we are going to work tirelessly with our partners to promote this fight — by far Ryan’s biggest test of his career —which can catapult Ryan’s career to an entire other level.”
Campbell, 33, is well aware of the storylines that are hovering around this matchup. He’s followed the young career of Garcia and has been impressed. With that being said, he believes his man has no chance on the night.
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Campbell. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon and that I’m on a completely different level.”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez has never met a judge that he hasn’t seen eye to eye with. With questionable scorecards in bouts against Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, back to back Gennadiy Golovkin fights and even Floyd Mayweather, Alvarez can seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of the judges.
Yet this past Friday afternoon, one judge in particular, didn’t score a victory in his favor.
Just a few days after filing a lawsuit against DAZN and his own promoter in Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy, Alvarez’s suit was dismissed by the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.
With multiple parties named in the suit of Alvarez, it is now up to the pound for pound star and his legal team, The Maloney Firm, to provide more information on the accused.
“Because the Complaint alleges the citizenship of the LLC defendants as if they were corporations, rather than as limited liability companies, the Complaint has not properly alleged the citizenship of those parties,” said district judge Percy Anderson. “Absent unusual circumstances, a party seeking to invoke diversity jurisdiction should be able to allege affirmatively the actual citizenship of the relevant parties. As a result, Plaintiffs’ allegations are not sufficient to invoke this Court’s diversity jurisdiction.”
Issues between Alvarez and both DAZN along with Golden Boy, stem from one long standing matter. Although Alvarez signed a contract in 2018 worth $365 million dollars with the streaming company, a record setting amount at the time, he has yet to actually see his contract. The aforementioned contract is between DAZN and Golden Boy and when Alvarez is set to enter the ring, Golden Boy issues him his payment.
This setup has long bothered Alvarez, and despite multiple attempts at viewing his own contract, he has been denied.
The attorney of the Mexican native however, was able to gain a copy of his agreement and found something eye catching.
DAZN has been heavily against most of the opponents Alvarez has chosen to face. Matchups against WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders and WBA belt holder Callum Smith were turned down by the streaming company. The reasoning behind their refusal to back those contests is because they would rather Alvarez face a “premier” opponent. The company eyed matchups with UFC stars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jorge Masvidal as well as the promoter of Alvarez in Oscar De La Hoya as individuals who fit that criteria.
In addition to opponent selection, DAZN has decided to massively reduce the roughly $35 million per fight he is owed as well. A condition that Alvarez was willing to acquiesce to. His lawyers however, believe that Alvarez doesn’t have to follow any of those terms as none of it is found in his contract.
“Alvarez’ opponents would be mutually selected by [Alvarez] and [Golden Boy Promotions], subject to [Alvarez’s] final approval, not to be unreasonably withheld,” according to language in his contract.
While Alvarez may seem to have all of the firepower that he needs to move forward, a judge has ruled that both he and his legal team still have more work to do before they can ultimately move forward and have until September 28th to do so.
“Accordingly, the Court dismisses Plaintiffs’ Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” judge Anderson stated in the dismissal. “A district court may, and should, grant leave to amend when it appears that subject matter jurisdiction may exist, even though the complaint inadequately alleges jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653; Trentacosta v. Frontier Pacific Aircraft Industries, Inc., 813 F.2d 1553, 1555 (9th Cir. 1987). Therefore, the Court grants Plaintiffs leave to amend the Complaint to establish federal subject matter jurisdiction.”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez has watched from the sidelines as most of his contemporaries have either entered the ring, or have big fights lined up for the near future. The four division world champion however, has been forced to wait.
The current pound for pound star drew headlines and massive praise for securing a $350 million deal with streaming company DAZN in 2018. The relationship between both parties seemed to be going as well as it could be. Alvarez had a rather easy time in the first contest of his deal, knocking out the unheralded Rocky Fielding in the third round in late 2018. From there, Alvarez fought two more times, defeating former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs via unanimous decision before ultimately moving up two weight classes to dethrone WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round.
Despite their good start, Alvarez has now grown acrimonious towards the streaming company and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy, and is seeking $280 million in damages.
“This lawsuit arises from the breach of the single largest contract in the history of boxing, and one of the largest in all of sport,” stated the complaint. After extended discussions between the parties, DAZN offered to pay Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions a fraction of the contracted $40 million license fee in cash and some DAZN stock in advance of a potential IPO. However, the entire value of the package — for a bout against another World Champion — was substantially less than Alvarez’ contractual guarantee.”
DAZN’s refusal to pay Alvarez what was promised to him may have led to this suit, but his promoter in Oscar De La Hoya also shoulders a heavy load in the blame as well.
“Given that DAZN had made it clear that it would not honor its contract, throughout the spring and summer of 2020, Alvarez repeatedly asked Golden Boy Promotions to explore alternative broadcast options for a fall 2020 bout. Although Golden Boy Promotions reported that it was talking to various broadcasters, it failed to put forth a single alternative plan by which it would pay Alvarez the $35 million it had promised him for each of his fights.”
For now, Alvarez will seemingly sit on the sidelines for an even longer period of time. The Mexican native has routinely made two appearances in the ring per year with both centered around Cinco De Mayo in May and Mexico’s Independence Day in September. Regardless of his yearly tradition, Alvarez watched as both Mexican holidays came and went.
Although fans of Alvarez will now be forced to twiddle their thumbs as he sits in boxing purgatory, the Mexican star has assured his supporters that he will return soon.
“I’m the pound for pound number one in the world,” said Alvarez in a statement. “I’m not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I’m not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “I filed the lawsuit so I can get back to boxing and give my fans the show they deserve.”
Golden Boy fully understands where Alvarez is coming from in terms of filing his suit against DAZN. However, they can’t seem to process why they have been dragged into this legal mess as well. As far they are concerned, they’ve held up to their side of the bargain.
“They’re the ones refusing to honor the contract by not approving the outstanding opponents we have presented to them and by refusing to pay the contractually required amount,” said Golden Boy spokesmen Stefan Friedman.. “Even though our contract specifically gives Golden Boy the right to wait until the pandemic is over and fans can return; in the best interest of boxing, Golden Boy is doing everything it can to make great fights happen. We remain ready, willing and able to make a fight for Canelo as soon as possible.”
By: Hans Themistode
First Mike Tyson, then Evander Holyfield and now Oscar De La Hoya.
The former six division world champion has watched from the sidelines for the past 12 years, but he is beginning to get the itch fight once again.
Tyson was the first to grab his attention. At the age of 53, he’s dropped multiple training videos of himself looking anything but the number on his birth certificate. After one of his most recent clips was aired, he capped it off with two words.
Now, De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) is looking to use those words himself as he eyes a comeback at the age of 47.
“I have been working out,” said De La Hoya to Ring Magazine. “I have been training, I have been staying in shape. Obviously not in fighting shape yet to go 12 rounds but I’m sure I can get there. We’ll see.”
Golden Boy isn’t just an eye-catching name for De La Hoya’s promotional company. It was also his nickname throughout his career, and for good reason.
He came out of the 1992 Olympics with a gold medal dangling around his neck and quickly added more around his waist during the course of his 16 year run. His accomplishments, which included winning 10 world titles in six different weight divisions, pushed him into the hall of fame in 2014.
He was last seen inside of the ring in 2008 in what turned out to be a one sided loss at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya was dominated during the first half of the contest before ultimately going out on his shield during the eighth round.
De La Hoya may have been 35 during his contest with Pacquiao, but he doesn’t solely contribute that loss to his age.
“Take a look at my last fight with Pacquiao,” said De La Hoya. “I fought at 160 and came all the way back down at 147 to try and beat a Pacquiao who was just moving up but was faster then hell. I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I overtrained, my muscles were so lean. I was a walking zombie when I walked into the ring.”
Squeezing back down to the Welterweight limit of 147 pounds isn’t on the agenda of De La Hoya if he does decide to come back. The weight class he has in mind is a few pounds above, but before he truly entertains a comeback, he is keeping a close eye on the return of Mike Tyson.
“It would be at 160. I actually want to see what Tyson does first. See how reflexes are, see if he can go past three or four rounds and from there I’ll make my decision. I really would come back, I’m really considering it.”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya has decided to join in on the quarantine call out fun. The former six division world champion made the claim that even at the age of 47, he wiped the floor with UFC mega star Conor McGregor.
“Two rounds. Because one thing about me, one thing about me, I went for the kill always,” said De La Hoya on CBS Sports podcast State of Combat. “And look, Conor McGregor is — I love him in The Octagon. I respect him. I watch him all the time. But the boxing ring is a whole different story. It’s a whole different story.”
Fighters have grown more and more irritated as they are forced to stay inside during this global pandemic. Looking at the walls and laying on the couch has quickly gotten under the skin of everyone, and the result of this longer than expected quarantine has been fighters calling out each other non stop.
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia has made the rounds, calling out Gervonta Davis, Jorge Linares, Abner Mares and a host of others. Super Middleweight champions Caleb Plant and David Benavidez have continued to call each other every foul word in the English dictionary, and Shawn Porter has had a lot to say about everyone in the Welterweight division.
While those call outs might be expected, De La Hoya’s rant against McGregor was not.
If there’s one word that can properly describe the UFC star, it would be loquacious. So it comes to no surprise that he wasted no time in answering the call.
“I accept your challenge, Oscar de la Hoya,” said McGregor on Twitter.
With older fighters such as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield recently ending their retirement for ring glory, the 47 year old De La Hoya doesn’t intend on joining them. Claiming that he was merely “speaking the truth.”
An official call out may not have come out of the mouth of De La Hoya but his words were almost verbatim to what he said just a few years ago.
“You know I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training,” De La Hoya said in 2017. “Secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I could take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more. I’m calling him out. Two rounds. That’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say.”
De La Hoya was last seen in the ring in 2008, losing via ninth round stoppage to Manny Pacquiao. Before then, De La Hoya was a six division champion and a 1992 gold medal winner. He capped off his career with an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Haye, Shumenov, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 17th to May 24th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez Issue Statement After Vacating WBC Title
Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez today issued the following statement:
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible. I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines. I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.”
Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya today issued the following statement:
“There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing. He is eager to get in the ring with ‘GGG’ to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won’t negotiate under a forced deadline. Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that ‘GGG’ and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done.”
Fox Sports Reports Mayweather vs. McGregor to Happen in September
Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd recently reported that the alleged fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor will happen in September of this year. Cowherd reported this on his podcast.
He stated, “My intel is, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is going to happen. It changed late last week. Got a call, then somebody sent me something yesterday and Saturday. We book rooms in Vegas. This happens in September.”
Pacquiao Has Until May 27th to Decide to Fight in Olympics
Manny Pacquiao has previously stated that he has some interest in competing in the Olympics. He was recently elected to the Philippine Senate, so it appears that he won’t be competing in the Olympics.
However, Ed Piscon, the executive director of the Association of Boxing of Alliances of the Philippines has given him until May 27th to make his decision.
He stated, “I asked him to make a decision before May 27 because that’s actually the deadline for the submission of entries for the qualifying event,” said Piscon, “because I don’t know if he can still get a Tripartite pass because that gets decided on not just by AIBA but also the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees).” He went on further to state, “I don’t know if they’ve already met, those 3 groups. So if he doesn’t get a Tripartite pass, then that means he would have to qualify in the qualification event on June 16.”
Shumenov Stops Wright in 10th Round of WBA Cruiserweight World Title Fight
World Boxing Association (WBA) “regular” cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (17-2, 10 KOs) stopped No. 11-rated Junior “Hurricane” Wright (15-2-1, 12 KOs) in the 10th round tonight at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Shumenov, a former WBA light heavyweight world champion, is first two-division world champion from a Soviet-bloc country. The native of Kazakhstan, fighting out of Las Vegas, also earned the right to challenge unified WBA Super/ International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiserweight world champion Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22 KOs) within 120 days, as mandated by the WBA.
Hernandez Shocks Magomedov
Determined Phoenix middleweight Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez shocked heavy favorite Arif “The Pedator” Magomedov in the main event on the “Knockout Night at the D” card, which aired live on CBS Sports Network from under the neon lights at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC) outdoor venue.
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegasand DLVEC, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. The event was promoted in association with Main Events and Shamo Boxing Promotions.
Before a sold-out crowd, Hernandez (12-4-1, 4 KOs) pounded world-rated middleweight Magomedov (17-1, 10 KOs), winning a unanimous 10-round decision (100-89 twice, 98-91) for the vacant USNBC middleweight title. Hernandez hurt Magomedov in the third and seventh rounds, finally dropping the tough Russian (WBA #2, WB) #3, WBA #5 and IBF #14) in the 10th.
“This fight changes everything for me,” Hernandez proclaimed. “He’s very good and deserves all of the accolades he’s received but I now have my head on straight and I’m focused. My jab was very important tonight. He’s very strong but I wanted to fight him inside because I knew he couldn’t take it from me. I was very prepared. I think I may have broken my ankle in the fourth round but I kept going. I wanted to finish him, get the knockout, but he’s a very tough fighter. He has heart and showed why he has all of those accolades.”
Artur Beterbiev Returns June 4th
Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (9-0, 9 KOs) will battle veteran Argentine Olympian Ezequiel Maderna (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 12-round showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 4 from Bell Center in Montreal.
Televised coverage begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT and features an exciting co-main event that sees a pair of undefeated rising contenders enter the ring as Florida’s Bryant Perrella (13-0, 12 KOs) squares-off against Washington, D.C.’s David Grayton (14-0, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. PBC on ESPN returns for the first of seven fight nights between June 4 and August 12 that will feature exciting and competitive battles.
“I have never been out of the ring for a whole year as an amateur or professional so I can’t wait to fight,” said Beterbiev. “We’ve watched some tapes of Maderna and he seems like a complete fighter. We will be ready on June 4.”
“I’m working very hard in preparation of this fight,” said Maderna. “My goal is to fight a perfect fight that will be very important to my professional future.”
“I’m excited for an opportunity to take on a young undefeated lion who’s looking to become a world champion like myself,” said Perrella. “We’re grinding away every day at training camp. We have some new things we’re working on because we know he’s going to come at me hard. I’m ready to either box or brawl. Either way, I’m coming out on top.”
“I’m ready to get in the ring and put on a great performance,” said Grayton. “Training is going well and I’ve had lots of good sparring and conditioning. We know we have a rangy southpaw who’s going to be tough. It’s about whoever wants it the most and I bet I’ll be hungrier. When I get the win, the sky is the limit.”
Mario Heredia Looking to Score Big Upset Over Fedosov
Mexico’s Mario Heredia was denied a chance to prove that he is a top heavyweight contender when an injury forced him to withdraw from the 2015 Boxcino Heavyweight tournament.
Heredia (11-1, 9 KOs, 1-2, 1 KO in WSB), of Merida, Mexico, will now get that opportunity when he takes on the Boxcino champion, Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KO’s) live on SHO EXTREME® (7 p.m. ET/PT) from The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The fight precedes a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader headlined by a 12-round junior welterweight showdown between Ruslan Provodnikov and John Molina Jr.
Heredia has been training hard in Mexico, and is now looking at this fight as his time to shine against the well regarded Fedosov.
“This is one of the biggest chances of my life,” said Heredia. “This is the time to show the world what I am made of.
“I was born ready to do this. You will see the rise of a great Mexican Heavyweight on June 11.”
Said manager, Sergio Zaragoza, “Not only will Mario win impressively, but I predict a knockout and it will be a Mexican style finish.”
David Haye Takes a Jab at Meat Industry in New PETA UK Ad
Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye has proved that he’s as kind as he is strong by starring in a new PETA U.K. campaign promoting the knockout power of vegan meals. In the ad (available here), he appears with his fists up in a boxing stance next to the words “I’m David Haye, and I Eat Vegan.”
In an exclusive video interview with PETA U.K.—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—Haye speaks passionately about his performance in the ring since ditching meat: “I’ve put on good lean muscle, feel strong, healthy, no injuries.” He explains how he made the decision to eat vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings, which “kind of hit home about … the unnecessary amounts of killing of animals.”
And The Hayemaker discovered some unexpected bonuses the moment he cut meat, eggs, and dairy foods from his diet: “I felt healthier, I felt cleaner, lighter. … I woke up brighter in the mornings, fresher.” He recalls how before going vegan, he would want to “crash out and go to sleep” after a meal, but now when he eats, he feels “more awake and perked up.”
Going vegan is a great way to improve your health, as vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are. And each person who goes vegan prevents more than 100 animals every year from being killed on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats.
Haye joins a growing list of athletes—including British boxer Nathan Cleverly, welterweight champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, professional wrestler Austin Aries, and mixed martial artist Jake Shields—who have teamed up with PETA or PETA U.K. to promote kindness to animals.
By Sean Crose
“I expect the same as all the fans.”
So said Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov during a conference call to promote his upcoming April 18th junior welterweight bout with fellow thrillmeister Lucas Matthysse at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. Indeed, fans are expecting a lot from this one, for it features two excitement-prone brawlers who both battle in an entertaining style.
“Both guys are very dangerous,” Provodnikov’s famed trainer, Freddie Roach, told the media. “I told Ruslan if you hurt this guy, don’t just talk in because he has tremendous power.”
Provodnikov, however, is confident.
“I know that if I give everything that I have in the ring, and I give everything that I have in training, I can beat anybody,” he said.
So much for his controversial loss last year to Chris Algieri having a terminal effect. Indeed, Provodnikov is eager to meet the hard brawling Matthysse in the ring.
“Walking into a ring with a fighter that I know will fight me definitely,” he said, “I can do a lot better than [with] a fighter who will just run.” Clearly, this match will not be water ballet.
“I know that this is going to be a real fight,” claimed Provodnikov, “and I know that either, you know, I take him or he takes me. And it’s going to be toe to toe it’s going to be a real fight. For me that’s only a positive.”
Yet Provodnikov isn’t the only one eager to throw down at the Turning Stone Casino later this month. Matthysse made it clear he was thrilled with the opportunity, as well.
“I’m excited,” he said, “to be fighting a caliber of fighter like Ruslan. It’s two, you know, fighters at the top of their game fighting each other.”
Matthysse is not only aware that his bout with Provodnikov has the makings (at least on paper) of being a fan favorite. He also knows that it can lead the way to huge things in the red hot junior welterweight division.
“This is the fight that’s going to open up opportunities for the winner,” claimed the popular Argentine. “It’s the fight that’s going to open up bigger and better things, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. That’s what motivates me.”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya made his presence felt during the call by making it clear that this sort of matchup is right up his alley.
“These are exactly the fights that the fans want to see,” said De La Hoya, “whether there’s a title on the line or no title, or where it takes place.”
In a world of network and inter-promotional rivalries, the legendary fighter turned promoter made it obvious that he was going to give fans the kinds of fights they appreciate.
“We are just thrilled that the best network is going to be televising this event,” he said, throwing a clear jab at his former partners at Showtime. “These are the types of events that obviously belong on HBO Championship Boxing and we are just thrilled and excited to be part of it.”
No matter what network the fight is on, however, viewers will want to see a good match. Unfortunately, this one runs the risk of disappointing just because expectations are so high. If the bout somehow fails to deliver in epic Hagler-Hearns type fashion, there are those who will undoubtedly gripe.
Not that De La Hoya’s worried.
“I have a good hunch that this fight might be the Fight of the Year,” he said.
By Ivan G. Goldman
I’m in a nondescript room in downtown Los Angeles with about 100 other media people, mostly writers, a few photographers. We wait for Floyd Mayweather. This is about two hours prior to the big media conference to kick off publicity for the welterweight superfight I will refer to hereafter as FloydPac, to be fought May 2 in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd is 50 minutes late, somewhere outside in the Nokia Plaza on the red carpet, we’ve been told. There are lots more media people out there, about 600. They were awarded credentials in other colors but deemed unworthy of the prized green credentials we have dangling from chains around our necks. We greenies, the hundred media aristocrats, will get to interview the fighters and their principal team members in separate, back-to-back, open-ended sessions.
I look around for “The Ghost,” Floyd’s adviser Al Haymon, who supervises events from his secret headquarters. Could he be here in disguise? Spotting him would be like a bird watcher seeing a blue-tailed Pterosaur, a flying dinosaur that hasn’t been around for the last 66 million years.
I’ve already seen Floyd Mayweather, Sr., outside the building. Once again chief trainer for his son, he was surrounded by about 30 determined operators of smart phones and other electronic devices, their users drinking in his every word as though he held the secret to world peace.
There’s already griping among the boxing media, even among us greenies, because we know that on fight night in Las Vegas the MGM Grand Arena holds only 16,000, and some of those seats are so bad you could call them joke seats. In terms of capacity, there will be a monstrous shortage for media and fans. Those in the joke seats will barely see the ring. Some won’t even be in sight of the big screens.
And with tickets selling for a minimum price of $1,500 before the scalpers bid them higher, that means if the promoters give someone in the media even a crummy seat, they’re giving up $1,500 from a paying customer.
Of those media people who do obtain decent seats, many won’t be boxing writers. They’ll represent big outlets that rarely cover prizefighting, if ever. Most boxing writers on fight night will get screwed, relegated to hotel ballrooms to watch on closed circuit in Siberia.
The catch is, they don’t inform you of your seat location until you get there. By holding out the promise of seating in the arena, the promoters obtain more coverage from more outlets.
Many of the excluded ones watching off-site will write their stories as though they were on the scene, without informing readers of their shamed circumstances. And today, many of the 600 excluded ones to be allowed inside later won’t inform their readers that they weren’t present for the good parts. They’ll write around it somehow.
Our color-coded credentials and the system of insiders and outsiders today and on fight night reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a novel that describes a nightmare future in which everyone’s station in life is designated at birth, ranging from alpha to epsilon. But they get plenty of drugs to ease the pain.
Why will a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets be held in a venue that holds less than a fourth of that? For the answer you’d have to understand the rock-solid business relationships the MGM Grand has formed with the principals.
Mayweather Promotions won its place as lead promoter during pre-fight negotiations. Many fighters are superstitious. Floyd’s never lost at the MGM Grand, so why take a chance? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, wanted the bout in the much bigger Dallas Cowboys stadium, but he’s not complaining, at least publicly.
Golden Boy Promotions, which normally handles the details of Floyd’s fights, was shut out. Former CEO Richard Schaefer is gone, and Floyd and Oscar, the Golden Boy president, dislike each other.
Many of us wonder whether Floyd’s company, which isn’t used to handling all these details, has enough experience to present FloydPac to the world. But it turns out this event is well organized. We’re fed breakfasts with hot, scrambled eggs and buffet lines are short. There are plenty of people to direct us. Nothing is exactly on time, but these things are never punctual.
I’m prepared with laptop, water bottle, and Dodgers baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of TV lighting.
Ah, what’s that? Why it’s the champ, Floyd Mayweather, who entered rather quietly. He takes a seat up front, and the questions begin. You can find the interview elsewhere on this site.
By Johnny Walker
Boxing promoter and ex-middleweight world boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya scored big win today in a $5 million lawsuit brought against him by a “model” who claims that De La Hoya wronged her during a kinky evening of sex, drugs and Charlie Sheen.
Angelica Marie Cecora, 25, had sued De La Hoya for emotional distress, false imprisonment, assault and battery, after what she claimed was a wild evening at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South in Manhattan last year in which the former boxing great drank heavily, snorted copious amount of cocaine, dressed in her underwear and demanded that extreme and unusual sex acts be performed on him by her and her roommate.
Cecora also claimed that De La Hoya was inspired by the former television personality Sheen, whose briefly popular maxim “Winning!” was the Golden Boy’s war cry for the evening of debauchery.
Cecora’s lawsuit claimed that the women finally locked the insatiable former champ out of his own bedroom, leaving him to sleep on the couch. In retaliation, perhaps, De La Hoya, Cecora claimed, took off early the next day and stuck her and her foxy Russian roomie with a $1500 bill, which they also skipped out on.
But today, De La Hoya may have had the last laugh when Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten found Angelica Cecora’s tale of the evening in question’s activities “frivolous” – not only throwing out her lawsuit, but also ordering her to pay a $500 fine as well as De La Hoya’s legal fees.
De La Hoya did not contest Cecora’s account of the evening’s freaky festivities, but contended that everything that took place that night was consensual.
The judge agreed with De La Hoya, and characterized the plaintiff as a person not acting as a “model,” but as a prostitute, on the night in question–as was contended by the boxer’s attorney.
“Frivolous and baseless [allegations] will not be tolerated by this court,” Wooten said.
Unsurprisingly, Cecora intends to appeal.
“We believe Miss Cecora’s claims, we believe she is telling the truth,” said Cecora’s attorney, Tony Evans.
“She is entitled to her day in court in front of a jury and we are going to work to see that she gets it.”