Mayweather: De La Hoya’s ‘a true champion’
In May of 2007, Mayweather’s split-decision victory over De La Hoya earned the WBC junior middleweight belt in the winner’s 154-pound debut.
It is a loss that has continued to haunt De La Hoya, whose bad blood caused him to predict that RING and WBC 154-pound champion — Canelo Alvarez would stop Mayweather in less than eight rounds on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. De La Hoya provided RingTV.com with five reasons he believed that Alvarez would defeat Mayweather.
But after Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) dominated Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) for a majority decision over the course of 12 rounds before 16,746 fans at the MGM on Showtime Pay Per View, the winner expressed support for De La Hoya, about whom news broke on Tuesday that he would miss Mayweather-Alvarez because he is in rehab to address ongoing problems with substance abuse.
“Golden Boy Promotions, true professionals. Great fighters. [Golden Boy CEO] Richard Schaefer’s done a helluva job,” said Mayweather, whose record guaranteed purse of $41.5 million dwarfed Alvarez’s of $5 million.
“I want Oscar to, you know, I want him to come home and get back to what he does best. I’m saying as far as getting behind his young fighters and helping to coach them and keeping them on the right path. And Oscar De la Hoya’s a true champion. I commend him and take my hat off to him, also.”
Schaefer said Mayweather stands to pocket “$70 or $80 million” if the grossing record is broken, and Alvarez, “well over $10 million,” having predicted on Friday that would happen.
Mayweather-De La Hoya is the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with $136 million. Mayweather-Alvarez had already eclipsed the record gate with $20,003,150, surpassing the $18,419,200 garnered by Mayweather-De La Hoya.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]