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Oscar De La Hoya tells PBC fighters to demand cross-promotional fights

The Golden Boy promoter says he’s willing to make the fights the fans want, he just needs the other side to come to the table.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya takes some time to chat with our friends at Fight Hub TV about a number of topics including what he has planned for the upcoming year, thoughts on Canelo and Ryan Garcia, as well a plea to PBC fighters to demand the big fights we want to see.

Check out some excerpts below...

De La Hoya on the fight he must make in 2020:

“I mean, Ryan (Garcia) in a world title fight against the top, top guys. The Haneys, the Teofilio (Teofimo) Lopez, the Gervonta Davis’, those types of fights. And then obviously you have Vergil Ortiz. I mean, Vergil with any fighter out there in his division I want to make, and I want to be able to work with promoters, I want to be able to work with the fighters to make these types of fights. Because, look, sky’s the limit for them, especially in that weight class.

“When you see Ryan at 135 and him moving up to 140 eventually, you want to be able to make the biggest and best fights, so it’s gonna be a good year.”

On the potential for Canelo-Golovkin 3 and if it’s a difficult fight to make with Canelo saying he’s not interested in fighting Golovkin anymore:

“I don’t think it’s difficult to make, I think it’s just a matter of timing. Canelo already passed Golovkin by a long shot and so it’s about Canelo making the decision of fighting him and then we’ll make it happen. But I think we need time to make that happen but we’ll see. I’m gonna go down to Mexico and talk to Canelo’s camp and we’ll have an answer shortly on who he’s gonna fight.”

On how his seemingly strained business and personal relationship with Canelo has been as of late:

“It’s a working relationship. I mean, we’ve always been friends. You know, as a promoter you want the very best for them so I think that with Ryan Garcia, sky’s the limit, with Canelo and Golovkin, we can make that fight happen, or we can make Callum Smith — there’s so many opportunities for Canelo. But we have a great relationship and that’s what’s most important but the working relationship is amazing.”

On when he expects to formally announce Canelo’s next fight:

“Hopefully in the next few weeks so we can start putting things together and figuring out venues and where and who and so, it takes a lot of time. Hopefully we’ll have an answer in the next few weeks.”

On the reports that Billy Joe Saunders is the front-runner to land that fight:

“No, the front-runner is not Saunders. I don’t know who threw out that name but like I said, he has many options, and I’ll go sit down with Canelo, we’ll talk about it, and then we’ll announce it. But yeah, Saunders is not the front-runner whatsoever.”

On what weight Canelo is likely to return at:

“I personally like ‘68 for him but I don’t know. Who knows. I mean, we’ll see. It’s up to him. I don’t know how his body feels, how he trains, you know? So, we have to talk to his trainers, we have to talk to Canelo and we’ll figure it out. But I think ‘68 is a good division for him just because he already fought at ‘75, he had a taste, and to come down to ‘60 is gonna be difficult for his body to re-adapt. But we’ll see, I’m not him so I don’t really know.”

On how he feels about these YouTuber fights being staged:

“I’m from the old school breed and look, boxing is so dangerous and real that a lot of these YouTube guys are thinking that it’s a joke. It’s not a joke, this is real stuff. I mean this is life or death sometimes inside that ring. So that’s why I’m so critical. To become world champion is not easy, and people put their lives on the line sometimes and so to make it kind of like a circus act is not pretty cool, at all. I think just stick in your own lane...

“It’s just a tough sport. Listen, I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I mean it’s entertainment, yes, but it’s not, you know? It’s like, this is serious. So that’s why I’ve been so critical.”

On if he believes those events degrade the sport of boxing:

“Just a bit. It really does. Because you have kids like Ryan who has been fighting since he was five years old like myself, I started when I was five, and I’ve put all my life into this and so for somebody to come because, you know, you want to fight and because you’re popular — it just doesn’t really make sense to me.”

On if he thinks it’s likely for him to make the big fights fans want to see with fighters from other promotional companies (ESPN, DAZN, PBC):

“I’ve worked with all promoters. I really have. (The platform situation) is difficult but it’s possible. I’ve worked with promoters — the one promoter I haven’t, or the one agent or whatever he is, PBC. It’s been difficult but hopefully not impossible. I think hopefully we can make some fights with him because you have fighters like the Charlo brothers, or you have fighters like Tank for Ryan. So there’s many fights we can make. Hopefully we can just get along and make these fights happen for the fans.”

On what has to happen for these fights to come together:

“For them to drop their ego, I guess...Fighters at PBC have no promoter, they just have their agent or their manager, Al Haymon. The fight that’s taking place with Wilder and Fury, the reason why it’s happening is because Wilder asked for it, he demanded it. PBC doesn’t want to make it. Why? But Wilder demanded that fight and that’s why we’re getting it.

“So every fighter out there, demand these fights. If you want to be in a fight, demand these fights. Tell your promoter you want these fights and we’ll make ‘em happen.”

On some fans saying that Charlo has called for a fight against Canelo only to be shut out:

“(Laughs) No. We had an amazing, amazing offer, a very lucrative offer for Charlo and he turned it down. Well, Charlo didn’t turn it down but his agent or whoever — whoever’s behind PBC, I don’t know.

“I’m not gonna say the offer but (it was for May of last year). And it just didn’t happen. So that’s the sad part about the business of boxing, is that I can’t work with my hands tied behind my back...I want to make these fights happen. Calling all promoters, let’s make ‘em happen! Jesus, for the sake of the sport, for the sake of the fans.”

On who he thinks wins Wilder-Fury 2:

“I have to go with my man Wilder. But Fury, it won’t surprise me if he pulls it off. But for the sake of American boxing, I think Wilder hopefully will take it.”

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