It's been a really good year for boxing. The massive Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko fight drew 90,000 people to Wembley Stadium at the end of April, and now we have a pretty amazing fight in Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Gennady "GGG" Golovkin going down on September 16th.
Of course there's also the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight on August 26th, depending on whether you count that as 'good for boxing' or not. But it's happening regardless, and one person that isn't happy about it is Canelo vs. Golovkin promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
“It was disrespectful," De La Hoya said flatly when asked what he thought of Mayweather vs. McGregor being held three weeks before his own big event. "I would’ve thought that Dana White can have a little more respect with this boxing event taking place. You just don’t do that."
"It’s like having the Super Bowl and then three weeks later, the World Series takes place, the final game. It just doesn’t happen. We have the whole year to stage these types of big events. They could’ve staged it in maybe November or December. It is what it is. We have a super fight here. We have a real fight and that’s exactly what we’re focusing on.”
There's been some speculation that the August date was a not so subtle "F**k you" directed at De La Hoya, who went full negative on Floyd vs. Conor by calling on boxing fans to reject the farce of a fight. But if Showtime Sports vice president Stephen Espinoza is to be believed, it's simply a matter of how crowded the sports landscape becomes in the fall.
"The difficulty with the fall - and this is just my personal opinion - is once you get into October or November, the TV market is really crowded," he said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. "And I'm not saying you wouldn't hear about this event, but if you look at October you're competing at that point with NBA, NHL, college football, and you've got the World Series in the latter half of the month."
"Whether it's this fight or any other PPV or even Showtime Boxing, I'm sort of against the concept of competing in October. So if you're looking at it, you're not going to do September, it's really crowded. You're not going to do October, it's really crowded. Maybe you're looking at November, but neither guy wanted to wait that long."
So it was either go a little bit too soon, or go a little bit too late," he finished. "And the guys wanted to go too soon. And I say too soon, it's not too soon for the event. It's just a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of people pulling all nighters between now and August 26th."
Sticking it to De La Hoya was just a bonus, I guess. A pretty sweet bonus, knowing Mayweather, McGregor, and Dana White.