Is De La Hoya Too Concerned With Getting The Most Money?
By Chris Williams: As the talks between boxing pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and former American boxing hero Oscar De La Hoya remain in a virtual stalemate over the disagreement over the purse split, I’ve come to wonder whether De La Hoya has become too greedy for his own good? It’s okay for a fighter to want to get the bigger share of the pie when they’ve put in time and showed that they’re the bigger star in the game. However, when you offer other stars, ones that are in their primes and fighting much better than you could ever dream of, much lesser amounts of money to take a fight, I think it’s bad for the fighter to accept and bad ultimately for boxing.
What it does is set up the faded fighter as some huge gorilla that can take advantage of bigger names and use them to their advantage. It somewhat reminds me of a faded pop star Paul McCartney, who by the 80s was no longer capable of putting out number #1 hits on his own, using the biggest current stars in music like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to sing duets with and continue – at least for a little while – to stay on top of the music industry. I really have a lot of respect for Pacquiao the way he walked away from the contract negotiations with De La Hoya when he refused to budge from his original 70-30 split offer.
It was a courageous thing to do, and one that few other boxers would have had the balls to do. So far, De La Hoya hasn’t given in and increased the offer, but he really doesn’t have a lot of options to make nearly as much money without risking getting his head torn off. There’s no other fighter currently out there which fits what De La Hoya is looking for as an opponent. In other words, someone that is hugely popular in their own right, smaller, currently available for a fight by December 6th and beatable.
Margarito fits two of those categories, but he fails in the last category, because he would rip De La Hoya to shreds without any problem whatsoever. De La Hoya, as brave as he may have been earlier in his career in facing smaller fighters like Shane Mosley or older ones like a faded Pernell Whitaker, doesn’t feel particularly anxious to get it on with Margarito for the final fight of De La Hoya’s career.
It’s unfortunate, because unless De La Hoya gives in to Pacquiao, there’s really not much to look forward to other than a hopelessly boring fight against either Vernon Forrest or Sergio Mora. Both good fighters, but not the kind that De La Hoya will need to produce a lot of PPV buys from the boxing public. In fact, if De La Hoya remains stubborn and refuses to give into Pacquiao’s desire for a 60-40 split, we will likely be seeing a De La Hoya-Mora or De La Hoya-Forrest bout, which will fail big time and bringing in very poor numbers.
It’s sad, though, because this could all be avoided if De La Hoya only gave a little bit more of what he’s got way too much of to Pacquiao. You got to figure that De La Hoya already has a massive fortune compiled from his long boxing career, so why would he need to try and squeeze out a little more on something like this? It seems silly, especially because he has many options of coming back later on to fight old timers like Fernando Vargas, Tito Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins, or Shane Mosley.
The public will always be willing to pay to see him fight these opponents, although none of them will register as a huge mega-bout like De La Hoya’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. But the point is, De La Hoya still can continue to make huge money in the future, both with his promotional company “Golden Boy,” and with a number of old timer’s fights.
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