In what is likely to spark heated debates, former world champion and Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya, called on boxing fans to boycott the proposed bout between undefeated welterweight superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, calling it a “circus” and a “farce”.
“With each passing day, it looks more and more likely that the circus known as Floyd Mayweather Vs. Conor McGregor will be coming to town in the near future,” De La Hoya wrote in a Facebook post on May 25.
“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.”
De La Hoya noted that as a boxing fan, his primary interest is the health of the sport.
“Now, I know critics will say that I’m only writing this letter because my company is promoting what will be the culmination of an outstanding boxing year when Canelo Alvarez takes on Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September, and I don’t want anything to distract attention away from that fight.
“But 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.”
Irish MMA star Conor McGregor recently applied for a professional boxing license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Executive Director Bob Bennett noted that McGregor’s application had missing medical documents, but will be considered when these documents are provided, according to ESPN.
“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,” De La Hoya wrote. “Our sport may never recover.”
Boxing survived Mayweather-Pacquiao and is likely to survive Mayweather-McGregor. But De La Hoya raises legitimate concerns.
“…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.”
“Furthermore, it’s not like McGregor would be fighting a good fighter, let alone a mediocre one. He would be fighting the best. To use a bit of an extreme analogy, I happen to be a pretty good golfer. Could I potentially hold my own on one of the second-tier tours? Maybe. But would I be able to compete with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith, or Sergio Garcia? Of course not. Nor would I think to try.”