(Los Angeles) We will be what we will ourselves to be.
When you roll out Hip-Hop legend and the recent Hollywood “Walk of Fame” honored Ice Cube in a New York extravaganza after a classy affair in London to announce “Canelo VS Golovkin: Supremacy”, you stop in Hollywood to save the best for last.
Vanessa Williams couldn't have sang it better on a gorgeous day to see the stars.
The film premiere for “I Am Boxing” at the AVALON Hollywood closed out a classy three city international press tour ahead of the massive showdown between Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34KOs) and WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33KOs), several weeks ahead of their September 16 war at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for HBO PPV.
Tom Loeffler and GGG Promotions certainly deserve a round of applause for runner-up, but Golden Boy and CEO Oscar De La Hoya, in particular, deserve gold statues for the artistry and technical merits of the film and press tour. From much maligned to now very much aligned, De Loya has given fight fans what they want and the press what it need: A big ‘Drama Show'.
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“Canelo vs. Golovkin is the type of fight that deserves the spotlight and we are getting that. I am pleased to debut a film, ‘I Am Boxing' highlighting the middleweight division leading up to this historic showdown with Canelo and Gennady, and I am very proud to have been an executive producer on the film,' said a supercharged De La Hoya, in front of L.A's landmark Capitol Records tower.
On September 16, Canelo vs. Golovkin will deliver and then some. This is a real middleweight fight between two fighters who have been boxing their entire lives and something the fans really called for, and I believe will end in a knockout.”
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Whether anyone wants to admit this or not, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are nothing without De La Hoya. Mega fights with Oscar launched both to superstardom without gratitude.
Now, he's rolled iconic status into the impressive stat line of Alvarez, knowing about the work and risk it took to become one. Many can say the best promoter/manager is Al Haymon, but the incredibly wise Haymon never traded punches with the best fighters in the world while lording over them at the business table.
That he's never fought at all eliminates him from discussion. Bob Arum, long De La Hoya's former mentor turned rival to mentor again, is still a savvy tycoon for Top Rank (as evidenced by his own successful, groundbreaking coup at ESPN with Pacquiao V Horn); but Oscar's very red carpet affair as the “A-Side” for Canelo VS GGG and recent deal with Miguel Cotto for HBO and ESPN to reboot Puerto Rican boxing, is a Royal Flush against a Full House.
Oscar De La Hoya is the best boxing promoter in the world.
There are those who will swear to you that Mayweather meets this description, or, that De La Hoya is an Academy Award worthy performer, but the truth is– if he's acting (and he is, a lot, whether he fucks up on the first take in front of the camera or not), he's performing in front of the camera after taking a PR beating unlike any he took in the ring from peers who hate him.
Can you imagine Tiger Woods promoting the best golfer in the world successfully after getting a very public and ugly DUI? How about doing it after fucking all of (eh, mmm) ‘those women'?
Oscar”s done at least the figurative equivalent over the years while literally telling his story right in front of us, never skipping the hard chapters of painful loves failed and personal angst from substance abuse.
Who can forget the provocateur that gave us racy dress in drag at the risk of selling an event? HBO will replay Ward V Kovalev II starting tonight. If Sergey Kovalev had Oscar's cojones, perhaps he has that extra something– that magically discernible “It” quality that all the greats have, prior to finding a way to prevail or finish admirably over the now-beyond-proven great Andre Ward.
As I took in the glitzy flashbulbs Tinseltown descended on a very dapper 007 Bond-villainesque Golovkin in a red blazer, they paled in comparison to those more focused on Canelo Alvarez, the sport's biggest attraction. In wake of the WWE variety farce that is Floyd Mayweather V Conor McGrrgor, De La Hoya comes off looking like a hero and a modern Latino version of Tex Ricard.
His last fight was against maybe the best version of Pacquiao we've ever seen. Mayweather's last fight will be against a man we've never seen fight before.
Canelo V GGG will give the fans what we want for a lower price than a fight only “TBE” wants– if only to sell to you for more.
The LA tour stop was a selfless reminder of all that boxing is and will be in 2017 (ahead of what's sure to be a promotion about what boxing is not and never will be).
Take a bow, Oscar.