Plenty of people are excited for the possibility that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather could fight inside the boxing ring – Oscar De La Hoya isn’t one of them.
Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio had built up a possible fight inside the ring for years, and ultimately when they did meet for their highly-anticipated bout it was a huge flop. De La Hoya believes that boxing is currently digging itself out of the hole Mayweather and Pacquaio dug it into, and a fight between McGregor and Mayweather would only bury it even further:
“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,” De La Hoya wrote. “2017 has started off as a banner year for boxing. [Anthony] Joshua vs. [Wladamir] Klitschko; [Keith] Thurman vs. [Danny] Garcia; [Gennady] Golovkin vs. [Daniel] Jacobs; Canelo [Alvarez] vs. [Julio Cesar] 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.”
De La Hoya went on to stress that the massive mismatch between McGregor and Mayweather is simply ridiculously lopsided in “Money’s” favor:
“Success in one sport does not guarantee success in another. Far from it. And let’s be clear, these are two different sports — from the size of the gloves fighters wear, to the size and shape of the ring, to the fact the one sport allows combatants to use their legs to strike,” De La Hoya said.
“Think about it, beyond Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, what other athlete has successfully competed in two sports in the modern age? And Jackson and Sanders both played both baseball and football throughout their high school and college careers before going professional. Furthermore, it’s not like McGregor would be fighting a good fighter, let alone a mediocre one. He would be fighting the best.”
In this current situation, De La Hoya is concerned about the health of the sport of boxing as a whole, while it is certainly clear that McGregor and Mayweather’s only concern in the matter is strictly financial:
“My interest is in the health of boxing as a whole. It always has been. And if Floyd were to come out of retirement to take on someone like Keith “One–time” Thurman, Errol Spence or some other top welterweight, not only would I applaud the fight, I’d be the first one on line for a ticket. That kind of fight is what the fans — and I am a fan first — deserve. Which brings me back to the circus,” De La Hoya said.
“Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear. It’s money. In fact, they don’t even pretend it’s not. But it’s also a lack of consequences for when the fight ends up being the disaster that is predicted. After this fight, neither of them will need us anymore. Floyd will go back to retirement — presumably for good this time with another nine-figure paycheck — and Conor will go back to the UFC. It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us. We’ll be $100 lighter and we will have squandered another opportunity to bring boxing back to its rightful place as the sport of kings.”
H/T FOX Sports for the transcriptions