By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
Former world champion-turned-boxing promoter Oscar de la Hoya was on hand at the Wild Card West Gym in Santa Monica last week to watch his fighter, Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez workout. Caleno is preparing for his April 20 fight against Austin “No Doubt” Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Fightnews.com spoke with the Golden Boy as he talked about Canelo, Canelo-Trout in San Antonio, Mayweather-Guerrero, the super lightweight tournament, Showtime, rival promoter Bob Arum, and Golden Boy Promotions.
“Well I was going to spar with Canelo for this camp to help him prepare for Trout, however I saw him train and decided not to… he is too strong,” De la Hoya told us. “His fight with Trout reminds me of my fight with Quartey, not so much because of his style but before I fought Quartey I had my criticism. He is in that same position. This is his test.”
With less than three weeks to the unification showdown between WBC jr. middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico and WBA jr. middleweight champion New Mexico’s Austin “No Doubt” Trout (26-0, 14KOs), De la Hoya returns to the Alamodome in San Antonio where he defeated David Kamau by second round knockout in the first defense of his welterweight title back in 1997.
“April 20 is going to be a blockbuster. It’s great for Golden Boy. We love it! We now have a fighter.”
Two weeks later, Cinco de Mayo weekend ‘May Day’ will take place May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV as Floyd “Money” Mayweather (43-0, 26KOs) will take on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-1-1, 18KOs) for Mayweather’s WBC welterweight title.
“May 4th, it is going to be incredible. May Day: Mayweather vs. Guerrero it is going to be a physical, tough fight, It will be a tough fight for Mayweather,” De la Hoya said.
The co main event will feature an action packed fight between featherweights Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35KOs) and Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13KOs) for Ponce de Leon’s WBC title. Also on the card former world champions Leo Santa Cruz (23-0, 13KOs) and Alexander Munoz (36-4, 28KOs) meet in a ten round super bantamweight bout and middleweight JLeon Love (15-0, 8KOs) squares off against Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13KOs).
“We have just added Santa Cruz and you have Abner Mares vs. Ponce de Leon, oh that is going to be a war. I think we will be able to witness a trilogy with those two guys. It’ll be a terrific fight. I’m not picking winners in any fights. I just want to see fighters give it their all. Once you do that then you have no losers,” stated Oscar.
One week ago we all witnessed the rematch between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios, as Alvarado won by unanimous decision winning the WBO super lightweight title setting the stage for a rubber match. Both belong in the talented 140 pound weight class but let’s not forget the other fighters that are in the division such as WBC/ WBA Champion Danny Garcia who is scheduled to meet Zab Judah later this month, Argentinian puncher Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, and Amir Khan. Golden Boy Pomotions along with Showtime has now put together a super lightweight tournament as they promote the WBC, WBA, and IBF champions.
“You have one of the deepest divisions in boxing at 140 we want to fight the best, you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. We have Lucas Matthysse, Peterson (Lamont), Danny Garcia, Zab Judah, Amir Khan overseas fighting Julio Diaz and eventually Adrien Broner will be in the mix at 140. All those guys are in the mix it is going to be one heck of a tournament I look forward to it,” De la Hoya said.
As everyone knows by now, HBO (the network that helped build Oscar’s career and was closely aligned with the rise of Golden Boy Promotions throughout the years) has broken ties with Golden Boy Promotions. Showtime has now become Golden Boy’s network.
“HBO decided not to work with us,” commented De la Hoya. It’s their loss. We have the best fighters. Showtime is the new home of boxing.”
When asked about rival promoter, Hall of Famer Bob Arum’s comments at last weekend’s Rios-Alvarado post fight press conference about De La Hoya regarding “leggings” in reference to De la Hoya’s photo scandal some years ago, Oscar paused and thought before he spoke. “Look what he should do is retire, drift on to the sunset, live a happy life, enjoy his grandchildren and his wife, go travel the world.”
De la Hoya who was promoted by Arum since winning a gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics has become Bob Arum’s biggest rival, replacing Don King. The hostilities between Golden Boy and Top Rank has prevented some good fights from happening.
“We are open to fight and promote with anybody and this is the bottom line. We are never, never as long as Bob Arum is involved going to promote with Top Rank. He doesn’t want to get exposed, that’s the bottom line.” De la Hoya said. “What is he like 89 and he is still promoting, being a bitter, angry, miserable man. He has a beautiful family, go and enjoy life. I don’t wish the guy bad, I wish he would change, it would be better for him. So anything he says now is irrelevant because Golden Boy is going to focus on Golden Boy.”
2013 has been a good year so far for Golden Boy Promotions. From kicking off the year on Showtime with Lucas Matthysse’s devastating first round knockout, to promoting its final fight last month on HBO that witnessed Bernard Hopkins break his own record to become the oldest boxing champion in history. As for Oscar de la Hoya, he says he plans to continue to bring the best fights and promote the best talent.
“We have very ambitious plans and starting with April 20 you will start to see incredible fights on Showtime. We already dipped our feet into the water with CBS in having Leo Santa Cruz. Our plan is to bring boxing back to network TV. We want to be the best, we are the best, bring the best fights possible, go after the best fighters, and sign the best talent. It’s game on and we will keep on going to be the best company out there for boxing,” De la Hoya concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla