Oscar De La Hoya was asked about two dozen other fights, and situations and people today at the NYC presser to hype the Nov. 8 fight in AC, between the old guy who is the most stunning physical specimen in all of sports, at 49 plus, Bernard Hopkins, and the latest guy who oddsmakers think can make him look his age, Sergey Kovalev.
Fight writers were in an expansive mood in NYC today, at the Waldorf Astoria, a room utilized, I heard, because Floyd Mayweather had previously booked the spot, but decided against using it, after money had been put down, and thus, promoter Golden Boy basically turned in a chit, and used the upper-crusty space for this fete.
The breadth of different matchup permutations and such was not surprisingly since this fight would have been a cold war casualty earlier in the year but now, because De La Hoya sees the wisdom in maintaining amiable relations with all parties who might be in position to purchase the fights he puts together--God, rocket science it ain't--it is a reality, a truly INTRIGUING (drink, Al Bernstein fans!) scrap.
Oscar, can you make a Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight, someone wondered. "It's kind of like the Titanic," he said, launching a perhaps ill fated but still useful metaphor. "This broke the ice. But the tip of the ice on top of the ocean is still there. This is the beginning, of us starting to make fights fans want to see."
OK, you got me going…what other ones you thinking fans want to see, O?
"Canelo-Cotto, Mayweather-Pacquiao, Garcia-Pacquiao," he said. "The fans have been paying for first class tickets, but sitting in coach. It's time fans get what they deserve." Preaching to the choir, mon ami...
Oscar wouldn't tip his hand on who among the three names he mentioned as potential nexts for Canelo are most interesting to him. James Kirkland, Demetrius Andrade, and Joshua Clottey have inside track on a Canelo scrap, which Oscar says he will push the Mexican (with whatever you now call a guy who used to be described as having matinee-idol looks) to go off PPV. Canelo is a network free agent, not signed to a Showtime-only deal, so, the promoter said, it's likely his next fight lands "where-ever he wants to fight."
Oscar and Canelo will sit down together next week, in LA, and next will be announced then.
Oscar didn't disagree when I noted a Canelo-Clottey fight has drawn bad buzz on Twitter, being that Clottey hasn't been seen in rings all that much in the last few years. "It depends on who's available," he continued, bringing up Kirkland, who has been sidetracked by personal and managerial and promotional issues regularly over the years.
The polite grilling on Oscar continued. He said his relationship with Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza is just fine, thank you very much, even though Espinoza hammered him for under-promoting the Aug. 19 Barclays card, topped by the disturbing Danny Garcia-Rod Salka demolition derby. "We have a great relationship," he said. "We have a great relationship…but while Showtime has dates, but they can't have every date."
Circling back to that mood which had people considering more options than they were just a couple months ago, Oscar said he's been getting some, uh, quality time on the phone with Don King, boxing's Barnum whose forays into trickeration of the pugilistic variety erupt less frequently these days, about a scrap between King guy Bermane Stiverne and Golden Boy boxer Deontay Wilder. "We've talked about five times, and I think I got a total of four words in!" Oscar cracked.
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