Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya spent Monday taking a victory lap after his star fighter, Canelo Alvarez, narrowly outpointed Gennady Golovkin to win the unified middleweight world championship in the year's biggest fight on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
But De La Hoya was also a bit annoyed about some of the postfight reaction and addressed it in what he called "An Open Letter To Fight Fans" sent to media.
"On the night of Saturday, September 15, fans were set to be treated to what sports should be all about: the two best athletes in a sport squaring off against each other with the winner earning the title of the best in the business. This kind of an event -- where an individual can be called the best in any sport -- is truly rare," De La Hoya wrote. "Not only did the fight itself deliver all that was promised, against all kinds of pressure, Canelo Alvarez gave the performance of his lifetime to secure the unified middleweight championship of the world.
"Unfairly criticized for not fighting 'Mexican' enough in the first fight, he kept Gennady Golovkin on his heals all night, taking the action to the 'boogeyman of boxing,' walking him down and controlling the pace. Repeatedly ravaged for two positive drug tests that showed minor traces of clenbuterol -- a common occurrence in Mexico due to the contamination of beef across the country -- Canelo submitted to more than 20 drug tests in the lead up to the fight and passed them all with flying colors.
"Saddled with a judge's card of a year ago that he had nothing to do with; the pressure of millions of fans watching; and what many were describing as a must-win to stay relevant, Canelo delivered a near-flawless fight."
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), 28, won the fast-paced fight by majority decision -- 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 -- in a rematch of a highly controversial draw with GGG last September that most had Golovkin winning.
De La Hoya, however, was unhappy with some reaction to Saturday's fight.
"And yet, it wouldn't be boxing if thousands of keyboard warriors weren't talking (or tweeting) complete nonsense in the hours and days after Canelo began to cement his legacy as an all-time great fighter," De La Hoya wrote. "Many have told me to ignore the haters; that I'll never win. But while I know I won't convince many of them, allowing them to even partly soil what was a certain fight of the year; a mega event seen by millions of people; and a virtuoso performance by boxing's (marquee) fighter would do a disservice to the sport I love."
De La Hoya singled out various assertions and criticisms he has heard or read about and responded to what he called "absurd comments."
Of the accusation that Golden Boy paid the judges to fix the fight: "Though I don't think this deserves response, here are the facts: The three judges were chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Given the result of the first fight, NSAC was under a lot of scrutiny to come up with the fairest group of judges possible. For the first time I know of, GBP and team GGG were even allowed to approve a pool of judges. They saw what everyone else did; a close, competitive fight and scored it exactly that way."
De La Hoya also downplayed the fact that Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), 36, according to CompuBox statistics (which have no official role in scoring the bout), landed more punches than Alvarez over the 12-round battle: 234-202.
"If landed punches were the difference between winning or losing a boxing match, we would have an incredibly different and less interesting sport," he said. "Clean punching, ring generalship, effective aggressiveness and defense are what the judges are looking for in determining the winner of a round. I'm obviously a promoter, but in the four areas that actually count in judging, I can't find one where GGG was the victor."
De La Hoya also took exception with comments from Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler that his fighter doesn't know if he can win a decision in Las Vegas, the same site as last year's draw. Golovkin has fought in Las Vegas twice, coming up with a draw and a loss in fights many thought he clearly won. The loss to Alvarez ended Golovkin's eight-year, 160-pound title reign at 20 consecutive defenses, leaving him with a share of the all-time division record with Bernard Hopkins, one of Alvarez's promoters as a Golden Boy partner.
"Perhaps Tom is just looking to make GGG feel better, but regardless this is maybe the most disappointing comment, because it comes from someone who knows the sport," De La Hoya wrote. "Of course, GGG can win a decision in Vegas. But 22,000 people aren't going to crowd into the T-Mobile to watch Golovkin fight and blast out the likes of Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe Jr., or Vanes Martirosyan. He is going to need to fight a higher level of competition -- and then fight better than that opponent -- to earn a victory.
"While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (especially in boxing), let's take a moment to appreciate what Canelo and GGG gave us on Saturday night and work towards doing it more often for the sake of the sport we all love so much."
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