Ryan O Doesn’t Pull His Punch, Says It’s Oscar’s Fault We Lost Munguia-Charlo



Ryan O Doesn’t Pull His Punch, Says It’s Oscar’s Fault We Lost Munguia-Charlo

There is no other way to put it: Oscar De La Hoya is to blame for the Jermall Charlo-Jaime Munguia deal collapsing in a heap.

Charlo, an undefeated WBC middleweight champion and former 154-pound world titlist, was in the running to challenge Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) for the undisputed 168-pound world championship on May 7 in Las Vegas. The Mexican superstar ultimately chose to move back up to the light heavyweight division to battle unbeaten WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) that evening at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Charlo’s team subsequently turned their focus towards another Mexican, Jaime Munguia, who is still looking to secure a career definer win.

PBC founder Al Haymon thought he had secured a deal last week for Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) to meet Munguia (39-0, 30 KOs) in Showtime’s main event for June 18 or at some point in July. 

Both fighters had agreed to the terms for the fight, a deal initiated by Team Charlo. A rematch clause was also on the table, with crucial details of the compromise explained by Showtime Sports President, Stephen Espinoza, on social media last week. 

“If Munguia wins [the first fight], then GB/Munguia controls the rematch & can take it to DAZN or whatever other network they choose.”

That seems pretty rational to me. If your fighter wins this fight, not only  has he become a two-division world champion, but your company has also benefitted as a whole because your folks will have home-field advantage for the rematch. 

Unfortunately, De La Hoya’s short-term vantage point robbed Munguia—a former WBO junior middleweight titlist and current top-ranked middleweight contender—out of a career-high payday. 

Golden Boy Promotions founder and chairman Oscar De La Hoya made an incredibly brutal mistake by going public with his demands. At the top of the hierarchy was that DAZN had to be involved with the promotion and suggested a joint pay-per-view between the two platforms. 

“Finalizing Charlo vs Munguia is top priority. Golden Boy remains committed to our partner DAZN,” De La Hoya stated on social media Sunday. [DAZN] understands the magnitude of this fight and is willing and able to collaborate with [Showtime] to get this done. I hope Showtime is on board.”

This erroneous statement was released after PBC hadn’t heard back from him in days. In other words, precious time was wasted during the negotiation process, only for Oscar to come out and say something that wasn’t true.

DAZN was never interested in staging the fight as a joint pay-per-view event, nor were there any discussions with Showtime regarding the matter. 

This is a particularly awkward situation for Golden Boy as it could potentially affect the ongoing negotiations with DAZN to extend their partnership. Moreover, during the summer of last year, rumors were floating around about De La Hoya and company potentially leaving DAZN for Triller. 

The former six-division world champion was also slated to fight for the first time since December 2008 last September against former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort last September on Triller. However, he was hospitalized with COVID just a week before the fight and was forced to withdraw. That likely fueled more gossip regarding the possibility of Golden Boy switching networks.

But let’s delve deep into this, folks. (EDITOR IN CHIEF NOTE: I, Michael Woods worked on a freelance basis for the Ring website from 2014 to early 2022, and I acknowledge that I appreciated receiving a monthly bump from Debbie in payroll. In my mind, Oscar could have shut down the magazine and gone all digital but he didn’t cave and so Doug Fisher has that magazine in really, really good shape. Props to ODLH for that. If any marketing or capital injection folks don’t see that brand’s promise, then I’d lobby for them to re-asses.)

Forget about DAZN and Showtime not being interested in a joint pay-per-view; it would never happen for various reasons if you understand how the networks operate. One is a streaming service; the other isn’t. Simply put, it would be highly complicated. As Espinoza explained, Showtime would have paid 100 percent of the costs to stage the Charlo-Munguia fight. If they allowed DAZN to take a slice of the pie, Showtime would be the only one taking losses. That’s Oscar being cheap. Period. 

The series of confusing and bewildering events begs the question: Why is De La Hoya being cheap? It’s quite simple, really. Golden Boy Promotions can’t afford to take a loss. 

The company is down to three brand-name fighters: Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs), Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs), and Jaime Munguia. Garcia is fighting Emmanuel Tagoe on April 9 in San Antonio. However, his last fight was over a year ago. He could have fought three times last year, but a hiatus to address mental health concerns and a wrist injury thwarted those efforts. Ortiz, of course, was supposed to fight this weekend but was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, forcing him out of a date with England’s Michael McKinson.

Golden Boy scrambled to salvage their Saturday night card, and they were successful. McKinson will face Jesus Antonio Perez Campos as chief support, and Blair Cobbs vs. Alexis Rocha—the original co-feature— has been elevated to the main event slot.

Now ask yourself this. Can Golden Boy afford for Munguia to lose? Right now, it doesn’t look like that’s the case. If you’re asking me, I thought this could have been Munguia’s chance to jump on Charlo at the right time. He hasn’t been as active, and he didn’t look that impressive in his last fight against Juan Montiel. We’ve been talking about how much Munguia has improved since linking up with Hall of Famer Erik Morales, but of course, as boxing fans have become accustomed to over the last 20 years, premier fights between two boxers in their primes just don’t happen very often. Except for Dallas Cowboys fans and Madden video gamers, the boxing fanbase is the most abused in sports. 

We still don’t know about Ryan Garcia. Not to be a braggart, I predicted that body-shot KO of Luke Campbell; I didn’t expect Garcia would be inactive for over a year. Iron sharpens iron. Activity matters, and we’re going to find out if ring rust impacts Garcia. But if the Munguia situation is any indication, don’t expect Garcia to be in any bouts of significance this year.

What options are left for Munguia? His team already turned down an interim WBO title fight with Janibek Alimkhanuly and subsequently rejected a WBC title eliminator against Carlos Adames that would have made him the mandatory challenger to Charlo. What in the heck are they doing? This kid doesn’t need any more seasoning, folks. That’s not a diss; it’s a compliment. We need to see Munguia in a big fight, but it’s not going to pan out for him if his promoter sabotages his chances.

Ortiz has talked about potentially fighting unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in the future. If De La Hoya spins up another ludicrous offer, it will not happen. Think once more about the interview Canelo conducted with Graham Bensinger, where he revealed that he knew Golden Boy was only out for themselves in 2015, leading up to his victory over Miguel Cotto to become then-a-two-division world champion. Alvarez didn’t leave Golden Boy for another five years after turning 30 years of age.

Munguia, who was willing to step in as a late replacement against Gennadiy Golovkin of all people before he was even crowned a world champion back in May 2018, is only 25 years of age. Going forward, he will have to ask himself this: “Do they really care about me? How long should I stay?”