Boxing legend and promoter Oscar De La Hoya is not a fan of the seemingly inevitable upcoming superfight between pound for pound great Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor. That should be no surprise … most of the serious people in boxing seem unanimous in their opinion that the fight is ridiculous. They also agree that it will make hundreds of millions of dollars, and that’s usually where the criticism ends because hey, the almighty dollar, amirite?
But Oscar De La Hoya is taking things further, calling on boxing fans around the world to pull together now and voice their rejection of the fight.
As undercard fights start to take form, athletic commissions give their blessings in exchange for millions of dollars and the fighters start counting even more cash, one group will eventually be left to make sure this farce doesn’t occur. We, the fans, who are the lifeblood of our sport.
Boxing is starting to dig out of the hole that Floyd and Manny Pacquiao shoveled by waiting seven years to put on a fight that ended up being as dull as it was anti-climactic. 2017 has started off as a banner year for boxing. Joshua vs. Klitschko; Thurman vs. Garcia; Golovkin vs. Jacobs; Canelo vs. Chavez. All four of these fights – and many more — have brought the fight game back and reinvigorated interest from the ever-elusive casual fan.
But if you thought Mayweather/Pacquiao was a black eye for our sport – a matchup between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters that simply didn’t deliver — just wait until the best boxer of a generation dismantles someone who has never boxed competitively at any level – amateur or professional.
Our sport might not ever recover.
As the owner of Golden Boy Productions, De La Hoya knows a thing or two about promoting, and he understands the damage big fights that don’t deliver can cause to the reputation of his sport and the bottom line of future events. He isn’t wrong about boxing finally starting to recover from a serious funk, one that wasn’t caused by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao but was certainly embodied by it.
But if he’s expecting a backlash to come together and stop the fight, he may be sadly disappointed. As it stands now, people are intrigued by Mayweather vs. McGregor. And it’s a different scenario than Floyd vs. Manny, a fight between the best that ended up being the worst. Everyone knows coming into this fight that Conor McGregor is probably going to get pummeled. Yet it will still undoubtedly draw millions of eyes, because people want to see the ever-confident Conor try for his latest unlikely victory.