By Ryan Maquiñana
The talk of Oscar De La Hoya’s apparent rift with adviser Al Haymon isn’t dying down anytime soon.
In a Tuesday conference call ahead of welterweight Robert Guerrero’s Saturday night bout in Carson, California, against Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KOs), the Golden Boy president refused to comment whether or not Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), who is signed by Haymon, is still signed with the promotional company.
However, he did praise featherweight Gary Russell (24-0, 14 KOs), who meets Top Rank-promoted Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1, 1 KO) in a title clash on the undercard.
“It’s wonderful to hear from a fighter like Gary Russell that he wants to engage in these big major fights, regardless of promoters, and that’s what it’s really all about,” De La Hoya said.
Russell’s promotional status is also a question mark. Even though he has been fighting under the Golden Boy banner, the Haymon-advised 126-pounder’s father has told the media several times that his son is a free agent.
“It’s not about promoters and egos, it’s about the fighters and the fans,” De La Hoya added. “So I’m optimistic that in the near future, the fight fans will get what they deserve.”
De La Hoya was also asked about matching Guerrero up with Top Rank fighters down the road given the prospects of reconciliation with the rival promotional company’s CEO, Bob Arum.
“Golden Boy just wants to make the biggest and the best fights,” De La Hoya said. “If it means making the most money and making the best fights happen that the fight fans want to watch, giving them the best fights we have to offer.
“Obviously we know that Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero is one of the few elite fighters that boxing has today, so whether Golden Boy has an opponent, or another promoter has an opponent where we can make the biggest fight happen, that’s what must happen for the fans.”
Follow Ryan Maquiñana on Twitter @RMaq28 or email him at [email protected] .