On August 26th, undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., came out of retirement to handily defeat MMA star Conor McGregor in the boxing ring.
Now three months later, retired boxer Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya, arguably the most vocal critic of that match, has called out McGregor.
On Monday, De La Hoya went on Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew — a well respected enterprise, to be sure — to reveal that he’s been “secretly training,” is faster and stronger than ever, and “can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds.”
If you thought the Mayweather-McGregor fight was a dark omen for the glory days of boxing, the four horsemen have officially descended.
De La Hoya is 44 years old, has been out of the sport since 2009, and founded Golden Boy Promotions — the lead promoter behind the September 16th Canelo-GGG bout that boxing purists touted as the real fight of the century. He’s been a staunch advocate for the sport of boxing as it loses steam in the face of growing interest in mixed martial arts. Back in May, he wrote an impassioned, and widely shared, Facebook post calling the Mayweather-McGregor fight a “farce” and a “circus.”
And I quote:
“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.”
Well, the “farce” has occurred. Because with his half-hearted call-out of McGregor, it seems that one look at Mayweather's prize money was enough for De La Hoya to change his tune. No matter the outcome of the Mayweather-McGregor match, Conor was promised at least $30 million, with Floyd pocketing at least $100 million. In the end, they both walked away with much more.
We can’t fault De La Hoya for wanting in on that cash grab. But the “best of boxing versus the best of MMA” fight already happened, and taking to his own radio show to issue a challenge to McGregor is a slap in the face to the notion of boxing purity De La Hoya has formerly vowed to protect. Not to mention something McGregor is probably laughing about from the crow's nest of his yacht.
Boxing fans can and should call out De La Hoya for his hypocrisy. And MMA fans should await McGregor’s return to the Octagon.