The world of professional sports can either be a blessing or a curse. Athletes start training really young and put in long hours harnessing your skill. More often than not, these athletes are truly passionate about the sports they have chosen and don’t mind investing their blood, sweat, and tears to refine and master their sports.
Only a handful actually makes a name in the field of professional sports, fewer still in boxing. You’d notice that these athletes really do stand out in the crowd and continue to win in competitions, often in continuous streaks. You may say they have a knack or an inborn talent for it but it helps too that they spend almost all their waking days working to achieve their goals.
De La Hoya believes the mismatch between Mayweather, who is seen as arguably one of the greatest ring technicians of all time taking on McGregor, who has never competed professionally in a boxing match, would be an affront to the sport as a whole.
“Success in one sport does not guarantee success in another. Far from it. And let’s be clear, these are two different sports — from the size of the gloves fighters wear, to the size and shape of the ring, to the fact the one sport allows combatants to use their legs to strike,” De La Hoya said.
“Think about it, beyond Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, what other athlete has successfully competed in two sports in the modern age? And Jackson and Sanders both played both baseball and football throughout their high school and college careers before going professional. Furthermore, it’s not like McGregor would be fighting a good fighter, let alone a mediocre one. He would be fighting the best.”
It might be the fight of the century all boxing fans are waiting for, even better than the glamorized yet utterly disappointing match between Pacquiao and Mayweather himself. However, many industry experts are totally against it. Aside from one of them not being a professional boxer, Dela Hoya believes that a match between McGregor, a pro-UFC fighter, and the infamous yet retired boxer, Mayweather, will be detrimental to the sports itself.
“Our sport might not ever recover.”
Those words came from Oscar De La Hoya in a no-holds-barred Facebook post regarding the potential Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor super farce the public is enthralled with. Although his words may be a bit hyperbolic, there’s little doubt that De La Hoya, head honcho of Golden Boy Promotions, is on to something. “Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear,” he writes. “It’s money. In fact, they don’t even pretend it’s not.” Sure enough, Mayweather has made it perfectly clear this potential stunt, where the world’s most well regarded boxer faces it’s most popular mixed martial artist in a boxing match, is essentially about padding his personal bank account (though perhaps McGregor and his followers may believe otherwise).
De La Hoya also makes it clear in the post that it’s not the general public he blames the hype on, it’s the two would-be participants. “I fully understand the initial attraction from any fan of combat sports,” he writes. “McGregor is almost certainly the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter. Floyd is Floyd — the most dominant boxer of his time.” Yet De La Hoya also points out that each man fights in a unique sport, and that boxing and mixed martial arts don’t exactly mesh.
For now, we can’t tell for sure whether this mismatched fight will push through for sure but many are still hopeful it will happen. Imagine how exciting that would be. Two champions from different sports will box it out in the ring and for all the world to see who is the greatest among the two. However, history has taught us that it is never a good idea to mix two things that don’t match like Muhammad Ali’s fight against the wrestler, Antonio Inoki.
Setting up this controversial boxing match at a time when the sport is just recovering from the long-awaited yet very disappointing best pound-for-pound fight between Mayweather and Pacquaio just two years ago may not be the most sensible thing to do now and it can hurt the sports itself for years to come.