It’s been nearly ten years since Oscar De La Hoya last stepped into the ring as an active fighter against Manny Pacquiao, enough time to continue his transition into life as a promoter while producing pay-per-view events without his name on the marquee.
But as he gets ready for the latest event bearing Golden Boy Promotions’ stamp, Saturday’s Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golvkin card in Las Vegas, the 45-year-old admits that the itch is never too far away on a big fight night.
“I’m sitting down ringside and part of me tells me, okay, let’s focus on everything, hopefully everything turns out okay, how many tickets did we sell?” De La Hoya said on a recent visit to New York City. “But then I stop and think and I look at these fighters and say, ‘I can take them on.’ (Laughs) If I train myself for a few weeks I can take ’em on. So, for me, it’s just the best of both worlds because I can get to promote the biggest boxing events in the sport that I dearly love and that I miss every single day.”
All wishes for a turn back in time aside, De La Hoya does know that the torch has been passed to the new generation, with the main cog in the Golden Boy machine being Mexico’s Alvarez, the 28-year-old with the 49-1-2 record and the increased ability to sell pay-per-views on his name alone.
In 2010, Alvarez was 19 and already 30-0-1 as a pro when Golden Boy signed him. The appeal was simple to GBP president Eric Gomez: the kid had a fan-friendly style and a look that set him apart from his fellow prospects in Mexico. He was also ready for prime time despite his youth.
“His style of fighting, obviously, attracted us,” said Gomez. “He was a very good fighter. When he was 20 years old, I made a risky fight and put him in with (Carlos) Baldomir. A lot of so-called experts were saying that we made a big mistake, that he wasn’t ready for that and he ended up knocking him out. […]