De La Hoya jabs at ‘boring’ Mayweather
Writing in the December issue of Playboy, boxing great turned promoter De La Hoya — who was beaten by Mayweather in 2007 — said he was happy that Mayweather had finally hung up the gloves.
“Truth be told, I’m not unhappy to see you retire. Neither are a lot of boxing fans,” De La Hoya wrote.
“Scratch that. MOST boxing fans. Why? Because the fight game will be a better one without you in it.”
Mayweather called time on his career in September after a points victory over Andre Berto left him with a perfect 49-0 record, emulating heavyweight great Rocky Marciano’s famous undefeated benchmark.
However, De La Hoya maintained that Mayweather would never be ranked alongside the true greats of the sport because he had never taken on opponents in their prime.
“You’re a very talented fighter, the best defensive fighter of our generation. But what good is talent if you don’t test it?,” De La Hoya said.
“Muhammad Ali did. Sugar Ray Leonard did. You? Not a chance. You spent 2000 to 2010 facing forgettable opening acts like Victoriano Sosa, Phillip N’dou, DeMarcus Corley, Henry Bruseles and Sharmba Mitchell. “There were guys out there — tough scary opponents like Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams — but you ran from them.”
Mayweather’s farewell victory over Berto had been a “snooze-fest”, De La Hoya added.
“Let’s face it: You were boring,” De La Hoya wrote. “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?”
De La Hoya said that what should have been Mayweather’s career-defining fight — his long-awaited money-spinning extravaganza against Manny Pacquiao last May — had come five years too late.
“You should have fought Pacquiao five years ago, not five months ago,” De La Hoya wrote. “That, however, would have been too dangerous. Too risky. You’ve made a career out of being cautious.
“You won’t get in the ring unless you have an edge. Sure, you fought some big names. But they were past their prime.”