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De La Hoya hits out at just-retired Mayweather in open letter

Oscar De La Hoya had one final "haymaker" at Floyd Mayweather upon the latter's retirement. HBO (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya threw some verbal "punches" at recently retired superstar Floyd Mayweather for what the former thought was a lackadaisical way of how the latter ended up with an unbeaten record.

On Friday (Philippine Time), in an open letter posted in the website of men's magazine Playboy, the "Golden Boy" of boxing already hit out at the "Pretty Boy" from the start, saying, "Truth be told, I’m not unhappy to see you retire. Neither are a lot of boxing fans. Scratch that. MOST boxing fans. Why? Because the fight game will be a better one without you in it."

De La Hoya then evaluated Mayweather's swan song against Andre Berto as "boring", even saying that he can make the replay of the fight an alternative lullaby to his kids.

"When my kids have trouble falling asleep, I don’t have to read to them anymore. I just play them your Berto fight. They don’t make it past round three," De La Hoya continued.

He then brought up Mayweather's megabucks fight against Manny Pacquiao, and he agreed with what many thought about the much-anticipated fight on May 3 (Philippine Time) that it was way less than what they expected.

"You were afraid. Afraid of taking chances. Afraid of risk. A perfect example is your greatest 'triumph,' the long-awaited record-breaking fight between you and Manny Pacquiao.... How can that be bad for boxing? Because you lied. You promised action and entertainment and a battle for the ages, and you delivered none of the above," the open letter continued.

De La Hoya also hit out at Mayweather's choice of next opponents, either going for too old or too young pugs, citing their 2007 tiff and the latter's fight against a then young Saul Alvarez as examples. De La Hoya lost to Mayweather in the said 2007 fight by a split decision.

De La Hoya also insisted that he did not run away from opponents even if he suffered his first defeat at the hands of Felix Trinidad, even boasting of his fights against Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Mayweather, and Pacquiao.

"When fighters do that—when they risk losing—that’s when everyone wins. The mantra of my firm Golden Boy Promotions is simple: the best taking on the best. It’s too bad you didn’t do the same," De La Hoya added.

He also hit out at Mayweather for his continuous verbal spats which he thought did not translate to action.

In particular, De La Hoya said, "Boxing will also be a better place without the Mouth. Your mouth, to be precise, the one that created 'Money' Mayweather.... the Mouth doesn’t have a place in boxing; save it for the WWE. Unless you’re someone like Ali, whose fights were as scintillating as his banter, the all-talk, no-entertainment model cheapens our sport. Boxers should speak with their fists and with their hearts."

De La Hoya also expressed optimism at boxing's latest superstars with Mayweather hanging his gloves for good.

A paragraph of De La Hoya's open letter reads, "Now that you’re stepping aside, attention can be turned to the sport’s real stars: the brawlers, the brave, the boxers who want nothing more than to face the best and therefore be the best. There’s Canelo, Kazakh KO sensation Gennady Golovkin, ferocious flyweight Román González, slugger Sergey Kovalev and a host of up-and-comers including Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Keith Thurman. Want to see what a monster fight looks like? Canelo takes on Miguel Cotto on November 21. It won’t do 4.4 million in PPV buys, but everyone who watches it will be thrilled. And that’s no empty promise."

De La Hoya had one more jab at Mayweather, who left the squared circle with a perfect 49-0 slate, at the conclusion of the open letter, offering him to rejoin reality dance show "Dancing with the Stars", which De La Hoya described as "a job that’s safe, pays well and lets you run around on stage. Something you’ve been doing for most of your career."

The said open letter will also be seen in the December issue of the said magazine set to be released in two weeks.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno