By Keith Idec
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has fired some more shots in his continual war of words with rival Oscar De La Hoya.
Mayweather discussed De La Hoya during an interview with FightHype.com. As part of a segment posted to the website Monday night, Mayweather bragged about his superiority over De La Hoya as an attraction and as a fighter, and contended that the former six-division champion “is so f***ing jealous” of him that “it’s a shame.”
Mayweather went after De La Hoya while discussing what he thinks could’ve been his first pay-per-view appearance while working with former promoter Top Rank Inc. The retired superstar made his debut as a pay-per-view headliner against the late Arturo Gatti in June 2005, yet thinks it could’ve come years earlier.
“I think that my first fight, even small fight, on pay-per-view could’ve been against Diego Corrales [in January 2001] or even Angel Manfredy [in December 1998],” Mayweather said. “Small pay-per-view. Small pay-per-view. [Top Rank] believed in Oscar De La Hoya. They believed in Oscar De La Hoya, a guy who right now is so f***ing jealous of me it’s a shame. So f***ing jealous of me.”
De La Hoya was boxing’s biggest non-heavyweight pay-per-view star at the time Mayweather stopped Gatti in their one-sided fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mayweather made his transition to superstardom when he defeated De La Hoya by split decision in their 12-round, 154-pound title fight in May 2007.
The Grand Rapids, Michigian, native went on to become the highest-paid fighter in boxing history. His victories over Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor combined to draw nearly nine million pay-per-view buys and earned him in excess of $500 million.
“He didn’t make more money than me,” Mayweather said of De La Hoya. “He wasn’t a better fighter than me. His offense wasn’t like mine, his defense wasn’t like mine, his chin wasn’t like mine. I’ve never been a quitter and I would never be a quitter. I had a great chin. I could fight on the inside, I could fight on the outside, I can counter-punch and I can bang. I proved that.
“My body broke down over 10 years ago and I still found ways to beat future Hall-of-Famers because that’s how my mental game is. My mental game is so crazy, I still find different ways to win. Never cried or complained.”
Mayweather also dismissed the notion that De La Hoya did enough to beat him in their fight nearly 11 years ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“They said, ‘Oh, this guy [De La Hoya] beat Floyd Mayweather,’ ” Mayweather said. “You feel he beat me because he hit me with a few good shots four out of 12 rounds? Or he put up three good rounds out of 12 rounds? Let’s run it back. No excuses. Just run it back.”
The 40-year-old Mayweather seemingly wasn’t suggesting that he and the 44-year-old De La Hoya fight again now.
Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) announced his retirement for the third time following his 10th-round stoppage of McGregor on August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs), who hasn’t fought since Manny Pacquiao made him quit in their December 2008 fight in Las Vegas, said recently that his body wouldn’t allow him to come back at this point.
However, Mayweather and De La Hoya, both owners of promotional companies, continue to take very personal shots at one another through social media and interviews with reporters.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.