Farewell Letter to Mayweather: Will Canelo Live up to it?
By Timothy Bladel: Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Oscar De La Hoya’s titillating farewell letter to retired fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. If not, it’s a good read. The kind of bravado that should make any boxing fan at least dream of a day when good fights are made for no other reason than they are good fights.
Then, we realize that the dream may already be dead. De La Hoya makes a bold claim his Golden Boy Promotions is built on taking risk. If that is true, then there is no reason that Canelo Saul Alverez shouldn’t fight Gennady Golovkin (GGG) should he beat Miguel Cotto on November 21st. Is De La Hoya giving Canelo a pass here?
Rather than focus on De Lay Hoya’s claims of Mayweather cherry picking past their prime opponents, lets focus on the bravado.
“The mantra of my firm Golden Boy Promotions is simple: the best taking on the best,” De La Hoya said via Playboy.com. “It’s too bad you [Mayweather] didn’t do the same.”
De La Hoya lists all the instances where he has lived up to this bluster, citing losing six times, after each time moving on to face equally tough fights.
“Me? I got into this business to take chances. I took on all comers in their prime. The evidence? I lost. Six times. After 31 wins, my first loss was to Félix Trinidad, and I learned a valuable lesson that is true both in the ring and in life: Don’t run,” De La Hoya said. “I didn’t stop taking on the best of the best.”
True to his word, De La Hoya did face the best around. Shane Mosley, at the height of his powers, middleweight legend Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, what about Canelo? He is very much part of Golden Boy Promotions. And he speaks with the same bravado De La Hoya claims Mayweather lacked.
“You took the easy way out,” De La Hoya said addressing Mayweather’s opponent choices. “When you weren’t dancing around fading stars (show idea for you: Dancing Around the Fading Stars), you were beating up on outclassed opponents.”
De La Hoya is claiming Mayweather’s resume is ballooned up with names of past their prime opponents. Never truly fighting the best in that moment.
“You were afraid,” De La Hoya said. “Afraid of taking chances. Afraid of risk.”
However, isn’t that exactly what the boxing scribes think he wants to do with Canelo facing GGG, wait him out a few years so he is beyond the height of his powers?
Stunningly, he even complains about Canelo being weight drained during his fight with Mayweather.
“Then later you took on Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’Alvarez,” De La Hoya said. “But he was too young and had to drop too much weight.”
What! Wasn’t it not long ago Canelo said he learned to do the very same thing from Mayweather?
“I don’t run from anybody. What I will do is never give weight advantages. I learned my lesson,” Canelo said. “That was the first thing I learned from my loss to Floyd, to not give any weight advantages, neither more or less, so if he [GGG] wants to fight with me, let him come down to 155 and I’ll fight him whatever day he wants.”
It’s kind of hypocritical for De La Hoya. Complaining that two pounds drained Canelo, but what of the 5 pounds GGG is being asked to drop.
De La Hoya feels as though boxing is better off without Mayweather, and that remains to be seen. For all the flaws, Mayweather brought a lot of attention to the sport. And there are certainly a lot of compelling matchups that could happen in the next year, Canelo/GGG and Kovalev/Ward just to name two. De La Hoya may have a lot of pull in making one of these mega fights happen. The question is, does his standards only apply to Mayweather, and not Canelo? De La Hoya seems to be saying losses matter less than trying to make the fight.
And is there any doubt that if Mayweather shows back up on the scene, he’d capture the boxing worlds attention once again?