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Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather do not like each other. They've been trading barbs since before they fought back in 2007, and it looks like they'll taking shots at each other forever. Today, Playboy posted a letter written by De La Hoya aimed at Mayweather. While most of the points Oscar makes are true (I've written about Floyd's flawed legacy before) like saying that many fighters, including his idol Julio Cesar Chavez (Mike Tyson said the same thing), have reached the 49-0 mark before, the open letter reeks of pettiness.
De La Hoya starts the letter off very politely by telling Floyd:
"You’re serious about hanging up the gloves. On to bigger and better things. So I’m writing to you today to wish you a fond farewell."
Then it all goes down hill from there. The very next sentence is:
"Truth be told, I’m not unhappy to see you retire. Neither are a lot of boxing fans. Scratch that. MOST boxing fans. Why? Because the fight game will be a better one without you in it."
He then criticizes Mayweather's decision to fight Andre Berto for his last stand and says he plays the fight whenever he needs his kids to fall asleep:
"Let’s face it: You were boring. Just take a look at your most recent performance, your last hurrah in the ring, a 12-round decision against Andre Berto. How to describe it? A bust? A disaster? A snooze fest? An affair so one-sided that on one judge’s card Berto didn’t win a single round? Everyone in boxing knew Berto didn’t have a chance. I think more people watched Family Guy reruns that night than tuned in to that pay-per-view bout. But I didn’t mind shelling out $75 for the HD broadcast. In fact it’s been a great investment. When my kids have trouble falling asleep, I don’t have to read to them anymore. I just play them your Berto fight. They don’t make it past round three."
Like I said: Petty.
Oscar then accuses Floyd of being a runner, a distinction synonymous with De La Hoya's career, while admitting he lost the Trinidad fight because of that very act:
"After 31 wins, my first loss was to Félix Trinidad, and I learned a valuable lesson that is true both in the ring and in life: Don’t run."
Oscar then closes the letter out with a series of paragraphs comparing his legacy to Floyd's, saying May "took the easy way out" by not challenging himself with the likes of Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams. He also says Floyd should go back on Dancing With the Stars because, "It’s a job that’s safe, pays well and lets you run around on stage. Something you’ve been doing for most of your career."
A lot of truth, a lot of petty. I disagree with the notion that the fight game will be better off without Floyd, though. Whether you like him or not, Floyd was good for the sport. Boxing needs a bad guy, it needs a mouthpiece, it needs controversy. With Floyd gone, who's going to fill that void as of right now? Danny Garcia's father Angel? He's not a fighter.
There is no doubt another lightning rod of a boxer will come along, but who knows who'll take on that task? There have only been four in our lifetime: Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Mayweather. Also, I personally think Floyd would've dominated Margarito and Williams, but to Oscar's credit, we'll never know.
One thing we both can agree on, though? That Miguel Cotto/Canelo Alvarez fight is going to be a "Fight of the Year" candidate.
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