COMMENTARY | It's not really news when a promoter goes out of his way to hype his own guy and predict all sorts of glorious domination for him in his upcoming efforts.
So, it really should come as no surprise when Oscar De la Hoya, owner and founder of Golden Boy Promotions, steps up and predicts all the best for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on September 14 when he meets Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"If he [Canelo] doesn't knock Floyd out in less than eight rounds, I will be very surprised," De la Hoya recently told Boxingscene.
"Canelo is so calm and mature," the promoter also said. "Nothing gets to him. He is focused. I tell him to stay focused. And keep pumping your jab. That is the key. My world changed after I beat Chavez. Canelo is experiencing the glory and ahead of his time."
All of this, of course, adds little to the actual pay-per-view clash. De la Hoya is supposed to believe in his guy -- or at least pretend to believe in him. And predicting a knockout is probably the most extreme way of attracting some extra eyeballs to pre-fight publicity. Even if eyes are rolling and readers are labeling him a buffoon, Oscar has done his job in bringing this fight back to the forefront of the boxing fan's dwindling attention span.
Oscar's been hyping Golden Boy Mayweather opponents ever since "Money" and GBP informally became full-time working partners. Oscar predicted Mayweather-Ortiz to break the all-time PPV sales record (held by Mayweather-De la Hoya). He also proudly predicted that Robert Guerrero would be the one to finally solve the Mayweather riddle. This goes with the territory and whether Oscar believes it or not, he has to say it. But there's something different about the way he looks at and talks about Canelo Alvarez.
"Youth is on his side," said De La Hoya, referring to Alvarez. "I think the advantage would also be the intelligence. He's a very smart fighter and I think people are going to be surprised with his speed. People underestimate his speed. He's got the power and he knows that. But that's not all that he's relying on. He's pretty smart."
More and more, as the retired six-division world champ hypes Alvarez, it sounds like he may be identifying with his 23-year-old fighter -- perhaps looking to live vicariously through the Jalisco-born battler if/when Mayweather is defeated.
It's no secret that there's buckets of bad blood between Mayweather and De la Hoya, beginning during the lead-in to their 2007 fight and continuing right through the pre-fight publicity for this September's bout. Up until now, though, Mayweather has always had the upper hand in any rivalry. De la Hoya, retired and unable to produce a "Money" conqueror, has had to keep any ill will bottled up, stuck in the uncomfortable position of having to tolerate an unpleasant alliance just for the sake of the massive revenue the Mayweather-GBP mash-up generates.
But that doesn't mean that De la Hoya can't plan and scheme for the eventual downfall of Floyd Mayweather. And it also doesn't mean that he can't do a bit of revisionist history and try to repaint the portrait of their record-setting mega-fight.
"Mayweather got the decision but I feel that I beat him," De la Hoya said.
In recent interviews, De la Hoya has also referred to a torn left rotator cuff during their bout as an impediment to a more dominant performance against Floyd.
All of this leads one to believe that Oscar, playing the role of the spiteful, regretful, frustrated stage father, is pushing a surrogate son into battle to right perceived wrongs. And this time the tone is more serious than with Victor Ortiz or Robert Guerrero or any of the other past opponents because he really feels that Alvarez has a chance.
September 14 will determine whether Oscar De la Hoya finally gets his measure of revenge against Mayweather, or if he'll have to swallow his pride yet again while flashing his trademark toothy grin and take solace in the millions upon millions generated that night.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Oscar De la Hoya
- Floyd Mayweather
- Canelo Alvarez