As a fighter, Oscar De La Hoya took on as many big fights as possible: becoming a PPV superstar and crossover sensation.
With his good looks and rocket left hooks, Oscar De La Hoya challenged every possible opponent.
Although he was not always victorious, “ducking fights” is not something associated with the De La Hoya name. The reputation he has instead is that of a fighter who took on big-money fights, while nearly losing every major fight in his career. De La Hoya’s business prowess has made him millions as a fighter and led to a lucrative career in promoting fights and managing his cash cow, Canelo Alvarez.
De La Hoya’s experience as a pugilist gives him a perfect perspective on the fight game as a business and may be the reason he pushes back against some of the fights Alvarez wants.
While there are many critics of Canelo and his career management, one thing stays consistent: his desire to be great while pushing against the wishes of his promoter.
When Alvarez wanted to fight Erislandy Lara, De La Hoya was not in agreement. It was a tough fight against an unheralded opponent with the potential to make Alvarez look bad. Alvarez went on to win by a razor-close split decision and maintained his undefeated record.
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Years later, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin were on a path to challenge one another.
Both were coming into the fight as undefeated middleweight champions and knockout artists, who believed that they would be victorious over the other. Not only was the fight put on hold for months, but Team Alvarez would also go on to vacate the championship Alvarez held. Serious criticisms of the Alvarez camp eventually lead to the match that became a fight of the year candidate. The bout was ruled a draw, and the fans were left unsatisfied.
This past Saturday, the aging light heavyweight champion, Sergey “KRUSHER” Kovalev, faced undefeated KO artist Anthony Yarde. Yarde had Kovalev nearly out but the “KRUSHER,” who is going on 37, managed to beat his 28-year-old opponent in the 11th round.
Alvarez and his coach are both insistent that the Kovalev fight is next. However, once again, there has been significant push back from De La Hoya and the promotional team. Moving up two divisions has not worked out well for others in big fights this year, namely for Mikey Garcia who was brutalized by Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.
The constant push-and-pull of the promoter and fighter relationship is normal.
What’s peculiar is the path Oscar De La Hoya has taken from the guy who would take on everyone even if he might lose, to the promoter who is protecting his investment and pushing Canelo Alvarez away from trying to be great. Fighting is De La Hoya’s legacy. His biggest opponent — anyone who gets in the way of his money.