Days after pleading with boxing promoters to come together, Golden Boy head Oscar De La Hoya has offered up an ambitious if highly unrealistic matchmaking idea centered around Super Bowl weekend.
De La Hoya’s proposed card would feature a main event involving his star charge, Ryan Garcia, against either Teofimo Lopez or the winner of the upcoming Dec. 9 WBC 140-pound title fight between champion Regis Prograis and Devin Haney. Lopez is promoted by Top Rank, while Prograis is currently signed to Matchroom; Haney is a free agent.
For the undercard, De La Hoya suggested a lightweight bout between two-division titlist Shakur Stevenson and Golden Boy-promoted William Zepeda, and a 168-pound fight involving Golden Boy-backed Jaime Munguia against either Sergiy Derevyanchenko or Edgar Berlanga. (Munguia won a close decision over Derevyanchenko in their shootout in the summer.) The opener would feature an in-house fight between Floyd “Kid Austin” Schofield and veteran Joseph Diaz. Berlanga is backed by Matchroom and Stevenson by Top Rank.
De La Hoya said he was inspired after visiting The Sphere, a state-of-the-art amphitheater in Las Vegas that opened last week to the public.
“I was at the sphere opening, and I cannot tell you how f------- amazing it is,” De La Hoya posted in a video to his Instagram. “Imagine Super Bowl weekend, the Super Bowl of boxing. Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez or even Devin Haney, [or] the winner of [Regis] Prograis [vs Haney].
“Then on the undercard, you have Shakur vs. William Zepeda. And then to top it all off, Jaime Munguia versus Derevyanchenko or maybe [Edgar] Berlanga. And to open it up you have Kid Austin versus Jo Jo Diaz. The Super Bowl of boxing. Let’s do this!”
Over the weekend, De La Hoya criticized the undisputed 168-pound championship between Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo by calling it “super boring” and spoke about the need for promoters to stage “super fights” more consistently in order for boxing to survive.
“Promoters, Eddie Hearn, Al Haymon, Bob Arum, whoever is out there, let's come together,” De La Hoya said. “I'm calling you out. Let's come together. Let's meet. The power of the minds and come up with something, because boxing can die. I'm calling you all out. Let's do this.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.