Oscar De La Hoya has identified boxing powerbroker Al Haymon as the roadblock in securing blockbuster bouts for two of the biggest fighters in his promotional stable.
The Hall of Fame former six-division champ and head of Golden Boy Promotions didn’t mince words while addressed why Tijuana’s Jaime Munguia and unbeaten lightweight contender Ryan Garcia have found themselves in time-marking bouts rather than must-see events.
“It’s the same bullsh!t. These fighters are hiding behind Al Haymon,” De La Hoya told Beto Duran. “That’s the bottom line. That is the bottom line. I’m asking these fighters, if you really want to fight then stop saying ‘Talk to my promoter, talk to my manager.’ You have the voice and the power to make the fight happen.
“Ryan Garcia wants to fight Tank Davis. Jaime wants to fight [Jermall] Charlo. We want to go after the very best. That’s the bottom line. I’m never going to exclude my TV partner DAZN from any type of negotiations. Meet us halfways (sic). We can walk across the street. Meet halfways (sic) in the middle of the street. Whatever it takes.”
The comments came across as a diversion from a tough sell to the viewing public last weekend. Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) was a massive favorite over Jimmy Kelly (26-3, 10 KOs), who was stopped in five rounds. That fight that came about after a shot at Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) fell apart at the eleventh-hour after all terms were agreed to by both fighters.
A late-to-the-table dispute over Showtime holding exclusive broadcast rights proved to be the dealbreaker for Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Boxing, Munguia’s co-promoters, who insisted that DAZN needed to be involved in the event.
Munguia’s last seven fights have aired on the sports streaming service but was in no way exclusive to the platform to it holding up such a fight.
Still, De La Hoya remains optimistic of brighter days ahead for his stable.
Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) has managed to work his way back into the life of Baltimore’s Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (27-0, 25KOs). The unbeaten California native was ringside for Davis’ sixth-round knockout of Rolando Romero this past May 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Talks immediately resurfaced of a potential superfight between the two, reigniting a discussion that first surfaced early last year. Garcia still has a July 16 date with Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 26KOs), which will headline on DAZN from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Garcia himself was caught on camera insisting to Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions and Davis’s promoter, that a fight can get done.
De La Hoya claims that he and his Golden Boy Promotions team are on board, but that it’s the other side standing in the way. There is history between Golden Boy and Haymon, both whom used to work together until enduring a nasty split in 2014. Their bitter divorce was also the subject of a lengthy legal battle, eventually won by Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, although the two sides have managed to work together for the occasional fight.
The hope now is to forge enough of a relationship to close the deal on fights like Charlo-Munguia and Davis-Garcia. The insistence is that the issue is one way.
“Obviously, one thing about Charlo and the whole PBC stable is they hide behind Al Haymon,” claims De La Hoya. “That’s the bottom line. We don’t want to make ordinary fights. We want to make the best fights. When our fighters are ready, we want to make the fights with the very best.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox