Oscar De La Hoya may be known today for a goofy Twitter account and, uh, clothing choices, but at one time he was a dandy of a boxer. In the third-to-last fight of his career, he took on Floyd Mayweather at junior middleweight in the richest bout in boxing history. De La Hoya lost a close decision, but proved he was not out of his league by any stretch that night and, if anything, probably gained more respect in giving a game effort than he did for many of his wins over lesser foes.
Having said all of this, Oscar can be a bit biased when it comes to any of Mayweather's fights. Literally every time he fights, Oscar picks the other guy to come out the winner. It's like a running gag in a mediocre movie, and he is doing the same thing with Canelo Alvarez right now.
But it can't all be blamed on Oscar. He is a promoter after all and what is he supposed to say? "Man, Guerrero doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell but thanks for the $70, you guys." So, ya know, it comes with the territory to a large degree.
In his latest discussion about the mega-fight coming up on September 14, Oscar describes Mayweather's relaxed, counterpunching style, and how Canelo will be the best he has ever been. Yes, it's promoter speak, but unlike someone like his rival Bob Arum, Oscar has actually been in the ring with Floyd and can at least give a somewhat honest assessment of the man's skill and talent.
Here is what he had to say, from Fernando Schwartz of notifight.com, via Boxing Scene:
"Floyd is not a fighter who throws combinations, he fights maybe for about 25 seconds each round. Maybe once per fight he throws some kind of combination. You have to apply pressure in the fight and do it in different ways. But the other day Canelo said he would box and defeat him. Canelo will take it to another level. Canelo is learning and with every fight he looks better, faster, more complete, and he is in better physical and mental condition. He is young but mature, and on September 14 we will see the best of Canelo," De La Hoya said.
I don't agree that Floyd only fights 25 seconds of every round, of course. He is prone to taking a round off every now and then, but fighting less than half a minute a round would be an awfully difficult proposition to pull off, even for him.
By this point, Mayweather's style is really no secret, the way to defeat him is. People know what he is going to do, but it doesn't matter. He does it anyways and that is typically the mark of a great fighter.
Will Canelo be able to find something others could not? Is there any part of Mayweather's style and abilities that have yet to be explored?