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Georges St-Pierre: Dana White thought Oscar De La Hoya would ‘destroy me’ in boxing

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“Rush” dives deep into how UFC’s president got in the way of a boxing match vs. Oscar De La Hoya.

Georges St-Pierre recently broke down how a boxing match with Oscar De La Hoya got shut down by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White.

St-Pierre (26-2, MMA) previously revealed he had been in talks to box De La Hoya (39-6) at an upcoming Triller pay-per-view (PPV) event. In an interview on Wednesday, the former UFC Welterweight champion dove deep into how the potential cross-over fight fell apart.

“I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” St-Pierre told host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “My career to prove that I’m the strongest man in the world in the sport of mixed martial arts is done. I’m 40 years old. But to do something different, something that could be fun and very motivating for me, and plus on top of that a lot of money would’ve been given to charity, against a legend in the sport like Oscar De La Hoya, I think I would’ve done it.

“Not because I believe I’m a better boxer than Oscar De La Hoya was when he was in his prime, but I do now believe he probably has more mileage than I do,” the Canadian continued. “I’m in great shape, I’m younger, I used to compete at a heavier weight class. I think it would be a fair fight that the fans would’ve wanted to watch.”

St-Pierre is still under contract with UFC, however, and requires its clearance to fight elsewhere.

“I even called [former UFC owner] Lorenzo [Fertitta] to try to convince Dana,” St-Pierre said. “Lorenzo liked the idea, but Dana did not want it. I knew he hates Oscar but I said to him, ‘Listen, I’m going to make Oscar look bad because I’m in great shape. I’ve been staying in great shape the whole time and I’m going to do a full boxing training camp with Freddie Roach and his world champions there, so I’ll be very well prepared.’

“At first he says to me that the reason why he did not want it is because he thought that Oscar would basically destroy me in a boxing match. And I had some good arguments — I told him that I believe Oscar has more mileage than I do, he’s no longer in his prime, I stayed busy the whole time, I’m still in great shape, I’m going to be very well prepared and I’m taking this fight very seriously. If I do it, because it’s my name — my image is attached to it — I will do it 100 percent. And I told Dana, I said, ‘If there’s one MMA fighter that go to boxing and look good in this situation, it would be me.’

“And at first he refused,” St-Pierre continued. “Then he thought about it but he came back with the argument that, oh, no, it’s not because he thinks Oscar is going to win; he thinks it’s because he doesn’t like the fact that Triller takes me and makes money off my back while I’m still under contract with UFC. So what Dana says — listen to this — then he came back and he asked me if I wanted to fight Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. And I told Dana, I said, ‘That’s very strange. Why didn’t you want to do the fight when we asked you a few years ago? Why is it now?’ He said, ‘Yeah, because Khabib was not retired and he was not the same guy that he was. Now it all makes sense.’ So I didn’t want to, but I was curious to see what would’ve happened, so I said to him, ‘I’m going to think about it,’ and I waited.

“Turns out that, shortly after, I saw in the media people saying that, oh, now Khabib, he doesn’t want to fight me because I asked for the fight with Khabib. I never asked for the fight with Khabib. It’s Dana White that probably went to Khabib and (manager) Ali Abdelaziz and told them that Georges wants to fight Khabib. We asked a long time ago, but I didn’t ask again. I didn’t beg for that fight again. We’re both retired and I’m good.”

St-Pierre also touched on a fantasy match up against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Dana White had a lot of heat for not letting me fight from the media, so he asked me to fight Khabib because he was expecting a negative answer from me,” St-Pierre said. “So he would’ve had a good argument, a good reason, saying to the media, ‘Georges refused to fight for us, so I’m not going to let him fight for someone else.’ So that was the reason I waited to see what happened, and turns out that I was right, I believe. So Khabib refused, but I didn’t mean that I was going to say yes.

“I caught Dana White’s bluff. That’s what happened,” St-Pierre later added. “Not that it was a bluff, but the main reason why he wanted to do it was because of the heat that he received from the media. And the fact that also maybe he wanted to make extra money, try a home run, because he knew Khabib and I were retired.”

Ultimately, GSP considers the fight a missed opportunity.

“In my last fight with Michael Bisping, I made a lot more money than what I would’ve made for Oscar De La Hoya. But still it would be still a lot of money for an eight-round, two-minute fight,” St-Pierre said. “It’s a lot of money. And it would’ve against the legendary Oscar De La Hoya. So the experience, the money — if I count the pros and cons, it would’ve been worth it.”

Instead of St-Pierre, De La Hoya will now compete against a different former UFC champion, Vitor Belfort, on Sept. 11, 2021.

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