Oscar De La Hoya isn’t nearly as interested in an all-Golden Boy versus Matchroom card as Eddie Hearn.
The Golden Boy Promotions founder questioned Saturday night whether his rival’s company has enough depth on its roster to put together that type of show, even if DAZN executives were willing to provide the funding to stream it. Hearn spoke optimistically about a Golden Boy-Matchroom event earlier during a press conference following a main event one of his boxers, John Ryder, lost to one of De La Hoya’s fighters, Jaime Munguia, by ninth-round technical knockout at Footprint Center in Phoenix.
De La Hoya was especially pessimistic about the high-profile fight Hearn proposed to headline a Golden Boy-Matchroom card – Devin Haney against Ryan Garcia.
Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), the WBC super lightweight champion, and Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) are rivals. They could fight next now that Garcia’s preferred fight with WBA 140-pound champ Rolly Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) is no longer an option because Romero will defend his title against Isaac Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) on March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Regardless, De La Hoya doesn’t consider Hearn to be Haney’s official promoter.
“I don’t think that happens,” De La Hoya said. “Last time I heard, Haney was a free agent. So, I’m not sure what [Hearn is] talking about. And an all-Golden Boy-Matchroom showdown, I’m not sure what fighters I can put my fighters against his. I just don’t know. I don’t know if he has the talent in his stable.”
The concept for such a card is based on the Matchroom Boxing-Queensberry Promotions card Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh intends to stage at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on a date to be announced early in March. That show has drawn a lot of attention within the boxing world due to the contentious history between bitter British rivals Hearn and Queensberry boss Frank Warren.
De La Hoya and Hearn have had their issues as well, but if Hearn can put personal drama aside to make fights with Warren he is more than willing to work with Golden Boy Promotions.
“They have a lotta tremendous fighters,” Hearn said. “So do we. You know, I mean, if you look at it you could do a mega-card. I mean, firstly, Ryan Garcia against Devin Haney, who hopefully we can make this week. Jaime Munguia against Edgar Berlanga, another incredible fight. I mean, Vergil Ortiz against one of our 154 guys, maybe Israil Madrimov, maybe Conor Benn coming up [in weight], or Conor Benn against Alexis Rocha [at welterweight].
“You know, you got [Golden Boy’s] Darius Fulghum down there [seated at the press conference]. You know, we got plenty of middleweights for him as well. So, there’s literally a dozen fights that you could make. But, you know, it’s always disappointing losing to Oscar, so tonight we go with our tail between our legs.”
Tijuana’s Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) dropped London’s Ryder (32-7, 18 KOs) four times before Ryder’s trainer, Tony Sims, stopped their 12-round super middleweight match in the ninth round. Munguia became just the second opponent to stop Ryder inside the distance during the British southpaw’s 13-year pro career.
The Munguia-Ryder disappointment notwithstanding, an encouraged Hearn thinks the Matchroom-Queensberry card could start a trend that would benefit boxing fans who want to see promoters working together more often to stage fights they want to watch.
“You know, look, when we was at the WBC event [last] week, Bob Arum was talking to the PBC guys about maybe doing Top Rank against PBC,” Hearn said. “I think, you know, for the fans, fans like fantasy matchups, fantasy picks, and you know, we have so many fighters in Golden Boy and Matchroom, across the divisions, you could literally have a seven- or eight-fight card. And obviously, with us both being on DAZN I think it would be a great look.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.