Oscar De La Hoya during media day in Carson, California with Marcos Maidana (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)
By Chris Robinson
There is no bigger fight on the boxing horizon than the September 14 super fight between WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and welterweight and junior middleweight titlist Floyd Mayweather.
Set to go down inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather’s skills, cunning, and experience will meet up with the youth, strength and power of Alvarez in a fight that looks to be an excellent matchup up on paper.
However, while most view the 22-year old Alvarez as an extremely legitimate challenge to Mayweather, veteran HBO unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman seems to share a slightly different view.
During a recent conversation with Tha Boxing Voice, Lederman gave the edge to Oscar De La Hoya, who lost a split decision to Mayweather in May of 2007, as far as being the tougher opponent for Mayweather.
“At this point in their careers, I say the experience and the talent, the 2007 Oscar De La Hoya who faced Floyd Mayweather is better than the Canelo Alvarez we saw against Austin Trout, and the one we will see come fight night,” Lederman stated. “And maybe that’s me being a little biased because Oscar has always been one of my favorite fighters to watch.”
Catching up with De La Hoya during fight week in Carson, Calif. ahead of this Saturday night’s Marcos Maidana-Josesito Lopez clash, the former multi-division world champion strongly refuted Lederman’s claims.
“No, I totally disagree,” De La Hoya stated. “Because, obviously, Harold Lederman doesn’t know what went on behind the scenes with my training, with me physically, with me being in the right state of mind.”
Asked to elaborate, De La Hoya insisted that he was facing personal issues outside of the ring that hindered his focus.
“Just stuff,” De La Hoya said. “I trained hard. I trained like an animal. I trained like a beast. I always felt that there was nobody who trained harder than me. But, obviously my personal demons that I go through and face, were in the way of me being at my best.
“There’s always regrets but you move on and you move forward and you learn from it,” De La Hoya continued. “It is what it is.”
As for what Alvarez brings to the table, De La Hoya was quick to answer.
“Canelo is a guy who is young, who is fresh, who takes care of himself in the gym,” Oscar stated. “He’s training as we speak. Learning every single day, growing every single day. I’m glad this fight is at 152, because it’s only going to help Canelo in terms of his speed.”
PLEASE CHECK OUT the full interview with Oscar De La Hoya below as well as other exclusives
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com