Oscar De La Hoya thinks Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor would irreparably damage the sport of boxing. UFC president Dana White ripped into him.
In recent weeks, Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya has been quite vocal about what he perceives as a sport-damaging boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The former boxing great wrote a lengthy open letter to “fellow boxing fans” on his Facebook page, including this line:
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.
UFC president Dana White went to Twitter to point out that it was only a few months ago that De La Hoya was suggesting a bout between McGregor and Canelo Alvarez, whom Oscar promotes.
WTF @OscarDeLaHoya ????? @TheNotoriousMMA @FloydMayweather pic.twitter.com/oBeAotPGOo
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 31, 2017
“If Conor is serious about fighting – first of all, would love to talk to him, and promote him,” De La Hoya said in December 2016. “I mean, imagine Conor McGregor and Golden Boy coming together. But the only fight I would like to see, and this is the one that makes the most sense, it would be the most exciting, that would be a guaranteed knockout, is against Canelo Alvarez. And they’re in the same weight class. So it makes all the sense in the world. Imagine. 154. 160. It would be at 160 actually.”
White spoke to TMZ on Wednesday (video available at the top of the page), and he didn’t hold back his thoughts on De La Hoya’s comments.
“Listen, Oscar De La Hoya and I have had a good relationship for a long time,” White said. “If you look throughout the past, including the Canelo-Chavez fight, I’ve been very supportive of every event that he does. I’ve always liked Oscar. Bob Arum and I don’t get along. If Bob Arum and I had the two last fighters on earth, I wouldn’t make a fight with that scumbag, but Oscar and I have always had a good relationship. I was just at the fight. He’s talking about money grabs… Canelo-Chavez?! You know what I mean? You’re going to put on a fight like that and then call McGregor-Mayweather a money-grab when you were trying to make [Canelo-McGregor] four months ago!
“It’s crazy. What is this guy doing, what’s his deal? I’m basically saying to him ‘what’s up?’ Why would you say something like that? Instead, it makes it sound like he has no confidence whatsoever in GGG vs. Canelo — which I have come out and said publicly is a good fight! I like the fight, I’ll watch the fight. He seems completely insecure and it’s one of the weirdest things that I’ve ever seen. Talk about two-faced and contradicting and hating, and the list goes on and on. Like he has no confidence in his fight.”
When TMZ asked him what he’d say to Oscar if he was watching this video, he provided a much shorter response.
“Oscar, what the f—k is going on with you? Are you nuts? Are you out of your mind? Have you lost your f—-ing mind? What’s going on?!”
If you’re curious as to how close Mayweather vs. McGregor is to becoming reality, White offered up no real specifics, then turned the conversation into addressing critics (such as De La Hoya) who don’t see the bout as legitimate.
“We’re moving on this thing. I’m confident that this thing can get done. We’ll see, you know? Obviously there’s still some hurdles to get through, it’s a crazy deal to make.
“Here’s the other thing, too,” White continued. “Any time people come out and say that a fight shouldn’t happen or this is ridiculous, when two people get in there with the punching power of a Conor McGregor and the fighting style of a Floyd Mayweather, who knows what the hell’s going to happen? You never know what’s going to happen. Am I saying that this is going to be the greatest fight in the history of the world? Hell no. I have no idea.
“This could be one of those fights where the press conference is a thousand times better than the fight,” White concluded, “because you know the press conference is going to be good. But nobody can judge a fight until a fight is over. Just like when I showed up in my seat to watch Canelo-Chavez, the fight sucked, you know the fight sucked, and the whole world knows the fight sucked! You got a better fight in GGG-Canelo, be confident about what you’re doing. Be a little confident about your business, Oscar! And don’t sh-t on other people’s stuff, it’s weird! It makes you look weird, especially when you wanted this fight so bad four months ago.”
Perhaps more eye-opening than anything is Dana’s hardline stance against doing any sort of business with Top Rank’s Bob Arum. It looks to put a serious damper on the possibility raised by Arum that Manny Pacquiao would fight McGregor in case Mayweather doesn’t agree to a deal. That, ladies and gentlemen, could spell the end of combat sports as we know it.