Conor McGregor won three rounds against Floyd Mayweather on the scorecard of one judge Saturday night in Las Vegas. Two other judges had him winning the first round.
Many felt that was a moral victory for McGregor and for MMA, taking at least a round or a few against one of the best boxers of all time.
Oscar De La Hoya isn’t quite as sure. The boxing legend and Golden Boy Promotions head told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he believes Mayweather allowed McGregor to win rounds.
“Because Mayweather let him,” De La Hoya said. “The first four of five rounds, he let him do that. … The punches are coming from different angles. It was a bit awkward to watch, actually.”
Mayweather, 40, did admit that his strategy at T-Mobile Arena was to let McGregor throw heavy shots early to tire him out and then land hard to the body. Mayweather was focusing on diminishing McGregor’s cardio and the game plan worked to a tee.
De La Hoya, who was critical of Mayweather vs. McGregor from the start, said if McGregor fought Canelo Alvarez, who De La Hoya promotes, it wouldn’t have lasted into the 10th, when Mayweather stopped McGregor by TKO.
“After seeing Saturday’s fight, Canelo probably would have knocked [McGregor] out in one round or two rounds,” De La Hoya said. “Canelo is a knockout guy, he’s a guy who’s not gonna trick people into making a fight last longer than it should last.
“MMA fighters are amazing fighters and I respect them dearly and boxing fighters are boxers. That’s just the bottom line.”
On Sept. 16, Alvarez will take on Gennady Golovkin in a matchup between two of the best boxers on the planet. The fight, like Mayweather vs. McGregor, will take place at T-Mobile Arena and is already sold out, De La Hoya said.
“I’m glad all these people spent their hundred dollars on watching this event,” De La Hoya said. “Now on Sept. 16, they will know what two pure boxers will be demonstrating and showing. … You’ll find out what a boxing match is.”
Even though he didn’t like the fight or the promotion, De La Hoya said he is a fan of McGregor, for his willingness to step into the ring with Mayweather and his ability as a UFC fighter. McGregor is the UFC lightweight champion and the biggest name in the history of MMA.
“I respect any fighter that gets into the ring, that’s the bottomline,” De La Hoya said. “The fact that McGregor even tried, there’s huge respect from my part to him. I respect the UFC, I respect any UFC fighter that’s in the Octagon, I respect fighters that put their life on the line. What I'm trying to say is they’re two different sports and I don’t want to see anything like it again.
“I probably will even go to his fight or buy his next fight when he steps into the Octagon again, because he’s an amazing guy.”