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Oscar De La Hoya: Canelo Alvarez Leaving Golden Boy 'Literally Hurt My Feelings'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2020

Canelo Alvarez, left, looks at promoter and former boxer Oscar de la Hoya during a news conference Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Las Vegas. Alvarez is scheduled to fight Sergey Kovalev in a WBO light heavyweight title bout Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Former boxing star and current Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said Friday that Canelo Alvarez's departure from Golden Boy Promotions was hurtful. 

According to Dan Rafael of BoxingScene.com, De La Hoya said: 

"You never want to part ways this way. It literally hurt my feelings. I remember [Top Rank chairman and De La Hoya's former promoter] Bob Arum once telling me when I was younger, 'Don't ever, ever make it personal with any fighter. Don't ever make it personal.' He obviously knows by experience. So I finally know what he's talking about."

Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions officially parted ways in November after Alvarez's lawsuit for breach of contract against Golden Boy and streaming service DAZN was settled.

Canelo signed an 11-fight, $365 million deal in 2018 to fight exclusively on DAZN, but he filed the lawsuit after Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN were unable to come to terms on his next opponent or how much he would make for the fight.

As a result, Alvarez's contract with Golden Boy was dissolved, and his deal with DAZN ended after just three fights.

De La Hoya expressed his thoughts on why things between Golden Boy and Canelo went south:

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"The big issue and problem for many fighters, and I have some experience, is all the whispers in your ears. Everyone whispering in your ears saying that you deserve more money, the grass is greener on the other side, we can do it better. The bottom line is that everyone who has been with us, every fighter who has been promoted by us, you know, that grass is not greener on the other side. It's proven. And so the biggest problem was and will continue to be the whispers in fighters' ears. ...

"I compare [the situation with Alvarez] to a marriage. Just because you have your rocky moments doesn't mean you're going to get a divorce. You have to work it out. We had a solid relationship and who knows where it went sour. Who knows what people talked in his ear, but the fighter is so gullible and so accessible to anybody that it makes it very difficult to have those long-term relationships with the elite fighters."

Alvarez, who plans to work with different promoters on a fight-by-fight basis, struck a deal with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn for a fight with undefeated super middleweight world champion Callum Smith on Dec. 19.

That fight will occur on DAZN due to Hearn's deal with the service. De La Hoya questioned the logic behind the move since Alvarez would have made more staying under contract with Golden Boy and DAZN.

The 30-year-old Alvarez is one of the biggest boxing stars in the world thanks to his career record of 53-1-2, but De La Hoya remains optimistic about Golden Boy's future.

De La Hoya pointed to young fighters like Ryan Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, Joseph Diaz Jr. and Jamie Munguia as budding stars who the promotion can build around in the coming years.