By Keith Idec
Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t pay Gennady Golovkin’s marketing campaign any mind.
Much has been made about the Kazakh knockout artist’s “Mexican style” in recent years, more than ever since his controversial draw with Canelo Alvarez last September. The undefeated middleweight champion’s seek-and-destroy approach has endeared him to boxing fans from various countries, but promoting his “Mexican style” has targeted a particularly large, loyal demographic that follows the sport.
De La Hoya, a Mexican-American who won world titles in six weight classes, doesn’t think that promotional push has had any impact on pulling fans away from Alvarez, Mexico’s most popular active boxing star.
“Well, it’s obviously all a gimmick,” De La Hoya said Wednesday during a conference call to promote their September 15 rematch. “It’s a gimmick to win fans over. I did it with fighting hard and beating the best out there, and fighting the best out there. Canelo did it the same way. He’s a Mexican national and the Mexican nationals love him. So all this gimmick stuff about, you know, ‘Mexicans For Golovkin’ and ‘Mexicans For Pacquiao,’ that’s all it is. It’s a gimmick.”
De La Hoya mentioned Pacquiao because a reporter asked about similarities from when Pacquiao’s “Mexican style” was pushed by promoter Bob Arum before Pacquiao and De La Hoya fought in December 2008.
Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer and a Mexican-American, has said Alvarez has lost respect among some Mexican fans for not fighting more aggressively against Golovkin and for failing two performance-enhancing drug tests in February. Sanchez has lauded Golovkin’s “Mexican style” for several years and has referred to Alvarez’s approach to their first fight as “Mexican stall.”
De La Hoya still feels Alvarez’s fans have remained loyal to him as their rematch nears.
“It’s sad to know that there are a few fans that fall for [the gimmick],” De La Hoya said. “But it’s really nice to know that Canelo has Mexican fans that love him and support him a thousand percent.”
The 28-year-old Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and the 36-year-old Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) both figure to receive their fair share of support during an open workout August 26 in Los Angeles. That event, free to the public, will be held at Banc of California Stadium, the brand-new home of MLS’ Los Angeles FC.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.