Oscar de la Hoya spoke recently about the potential of Conor McGregor as a boxer and he was surprisingly honest in his assessment.
It feels like it was just yesterday but with us now just under three months removed from the frankly ridiculous boxing superfight between Floyd Mayweather and the UFC’s lightweight champion Conor McGregor, it finally appears as though both sports are settling nicely back into their respective grooves.
Last weekend, UFC 217 reminded us exactly how much star-power the promotion still has at its disposal as the returning-welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre managed to pull off an amazing win over the middleweight champ Michael Bisping in the night’s main event.
The year, as a whole, has stuttered and stopped at certain points but with a show as universally adored as that, coupled with the upcoming duo of UFC 218 and UFC 219, chances are that the UFC will end the year on a very strong note.
In boxing, the marquee fight of the year – in terms of actual relevance to the sport – was contested by Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and though the bout was marred by controversy due to some admittedly crazy judging, the second meeting between the two is already in talks and given how electric their first showdown was, the fans are collectively delighted that we’ll be able to see these two run it back.
And while it was the so-called ‘Money-Fight’ between Mayweather and McGregor that stole the headlines at each and every turn, Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions managed to win the year as a whole due to the prestigious nature of the aforementioned bout between Canelo and ‘GGG’.
De la Hoya understandably used every opportunity he had in the leadup to the Mayweather/McGregor-fight to criticize the contest, which from a promotional standpoint was on a direct collision course with his own offering for the year, but in a recent interview withFight Hub TV, seemed a lot warmer to the idea of the mixed martial artist McGregor as a boxer, and even went as far as to outline his potential – if given the right path to the top.
“McGregor got stopped by Mayweather, that’s the bottom line. [It was] because of lack of experience. If he fights six-rounders, eight-rounders, ten-rounders and then fights contenders can he get better? Absolutely.
“Can he be a contender, be a champion? Absolutely. But, to fight at the elite level right off the bat? Yes, it’s hard and I applaud him, but it’s impossible to just try and come to the sport of boxing from another sport and try to say ‘I’m going to conquer it’.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena