Days after Oscar De La Hoya extended an olive branch and welcomed a reunion with Canelo Alvarez, the Hall of Fame fighter also offered some criticism following the Mexican star’s unanimous decision loss to Dmitry Bivol.
On Sunday, De La Hoya tweeted: “It isn’t too late (yet) to switch back to the best promoter.”
On Tuesday, during a session with reporters promoting Saturday’s card headlined by Gilberto Ramirez’s fight against Dominic Boesel at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif., the Golden Boy questioned the golf-loving Alvarez’s approach in preparing for just his second career fight at light heavyweight.
“What I saw, and I see everything, Canelo has been playing a lot of golf,” said De La Hoya. “From experience, I used to play a lot of golf in between fights and in between training camps. It takes a lot out of you. Yeah, you’re out there for six hours. You’re standing, your legs are weak, and you’re focused. A fighter needs to be focused. Yeah, you’re back, everything [with your body]. Go back to the drawing board – that’s it. Golf, you can play when you’re 90-years-old. Go back to the basics.”
Alvarez has been obsessed with playing golf in recent years and is even considering a pro career once he retires. During training camp leading up to the Bivol fight, Alvarez admitted to playing golf nearly four hours a day, six days a week in addition to his two daily boxing workouts.
Alvarez also had a mostly vegan diet while preparing for Bivol.
“When you change something drastic like your diet overnight, you run the risk of it not working for your body, and it not adjusting properly,” said De La Hoya. “Maybe he should have tried it in between fights or something, but if he feels good with it, so be it, but I saw him a little tired.”
Like many observers, De La Hoya also saw Alvarez losing a fight of which he got outpunched 152 to 84 over 12 rounds.
“I hate to say it, but to me, it looked like a 9 to 3, 8 to 4 [rounds scored] fight with Bivol being on top. He has to be. It’s hard to swallow that pill. It’s hard to be honest with yourself when you lose,” said De La Hoya. “Just go back to the drawing board. You tried, and you went out on your shield.”
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.