Oscar De La Hoya says it’s nice to say goodbye to Floyd Mayweather in a scathing career assessment in Playboy.
“I’m writing to you today to wish you a fond farewell,” De La Hoya explains in the open letter. “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. Let’s face it: You were boring.”
De La Hoya contrasts his desire to fight the best with Mayweather’s penchant to duck them, at least until they aged out of their primes. The titlist at six weight classes notes that while he moved up in weight to face Bernard Hopkins, took on the slick Shane Mosley despite him then bringing more skill than marketability to the ring, and faced Mayweather and Pacquiao at their peaks as he boxed in his twilight, Money cherry-picked opponents.
“I got into this business to take chances,” the Olympic gold medalist insists. “I took on all comers in their prime. The evidence? I lost. Six times. After 31 wins, my first loss was to Félix Trinidad, and I learned a valuable lesson that is true both in the ring and in life: Don’t run.”
Floyd’s defenders maintain he fought the best but made them look like the worst. Mayweather’s resume includes a demolition of a prime Ricky Hatton, a picking apart of a young Canelo Alvarez, a unanimous nod over Miguel Cotto, and two decisions over a dangerous Jose Luis Castillo. But Kostya Tszyu and Joel Cassamayor during Floyd’s lighter days, and big welterweights Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams during his time at 147, remain names inspiring many a what-might-have-been question. And if he wanted to go out with a bang, why box a clear b-side fighter in Andre Berto at 147 instead of taking a chance at a catchweight with Gennady Golovkin to put the exclamation point on a career?
Whereas De La Hoya leaves a library of wars (Whitaker, Vargas, Mosley 1 & 2, etc.) for ESPN Classic to mine in years to come, Mayweather ranks as a magnificent boxer with terrible fights. Lest the network dust off the Henri Brussels bout as an April Fool’s joke, Floyd Mayweather does not run as much on the re-run reel as he ran in real time.
Mayweather leaves the sweet science with intact faculties, an overflowing wallet, and the face that God and not gloves gave him. In this, the Golden Boy and the Pretty Boy share common ground. But Mayweather’s evasions of opponents inside of the ring and outside of it that perhaps led to his fine fate earns him ridicule rather than regard from his former foe.
“I’m wondering what you’re going to do,” the Golden Boy concludes in Playboy. “You have a lot of time and, at the moment, a lot of money. Maybe you’ll put your true skills to work and open a used-car dealership or run a circus. Or maybe you’ll wind up back on Dancing With the Stars. It’s a job that’s safe, pays well and lets you run around on stage. Something you’ve been doing for most of your career.”