Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been bitter rivals throughout their Hall of Fame careers, seemingly never pulling punches toward each other. 

The two settled the score in the squared circle in 2007 in one of the most lucrative boxing matches of all time when “Money” scored a split decision against the “Golden Boy.”

The tumultuous promotion leading up to the fight, and the lukewarm business relationship both boxers have maintained ever since as the head of their own promotional companies, has continued for better parts of the last 15 years. 

As the public pounds the table for a Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia fight – which would force both legends to strike a deal with each other and rival networks – De La Hoya took the opportunity to clear the air about his feelings toward Mayweather. 

“We're both adults, you know. We're both businessmen. We fought each other, and there's this like this bad blood, but that's in the past. I definitely feel that I beat him, but with all of that bad blood and animosity, let's just hold. Recently, just several months ago, I literally wished him all the best,” De La Hoya told FightHype.com founder Ben Thompson in an interview. 

“It's funny because everything that he is or he was or how he was promoting, he's a pioneer if you think about it. Everything that he stands for, everything that he did, in the past, in the present now, what he's going to do in the future, it's like he's leading the way. He's charging the way. It's very admirable. I love the fact that my fellow peers and fighters like Floyd who are popular and who are wealthy, who know the business, who are smart, can lead the way. That makes me proud. Everything else in the past, talking the sh!t and this and that ... now we have business to do. Let's move on, and let's possibly work together.”

De La Hoya said he plans to move to Las Vegas in May after the home he’s currently building is complete. De La Hoya has previously expressed aspirations to be the mayor of Sin City. 

Another long-term play De La Hoya expressed was to bring an NBA team to Nevada, a power play the Las Vegas-based Mayweather has previously intimated. 

“Maybe there is something for us to do in Vegas together, some kind of business. I hear that the NBA may go into town. Maybe we can join up and become a powerhouse there and help bring a team to the home that we built. We built Las Vegas -- literally [with our fights throughout the years],” said De La Hoya.

De La Hoya continued to speak glowingly of Mayweather.

“My emotions toward Floyd -- I literally admire him for what he's stuck with. What he's accomplished. The vision that he had in the past where nobody understood it. Everybody just thought 'he's the villain and he's the bad guy.' No. He had a vision. He's an entertainer and a real fighter. He's one of the best. All of that there is just a testament to us just maturing and literally seeing the big picture,” he said. 

“You da man, Floyd. I admire you. I appreciate you, and thank you for paving the way.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.