A fight is coming to a Dallas Cowboys’ facility this weekend, but the return to the ring of Floyd Mayweather prevented the biggest boxing match in years from coming to AT&T Stadium.
“It’s a circus show,” former boxing champion and fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya told me in a phone interview on Thursday. “The Ringling Brothers are coming to town. That’s the bottom line. Take a look at McGregor’s boxing record: it’s 0-0-0. That’s who Mayweather is. Obviously, the person who knows the fight game and anything about boxing or combat sports knows that Mayweather will never get the credit he thinks he deserves.”
The presence of this bout, however, was enough to knock Jerry Jones out of contention to land the fight of the year: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin (Triple G) on Sept. 16 for the middleweight title. That match-up was also heavily pursued by organizers in Las Vegas, Mexico City and New York City. At least.
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Vegas promoters told Oscar, who is Canelo’s promoter, if you take Canelo/Triple G elsewhere, we will put Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor on the same weekend.
“That story is true,” Oscar told me. “It was important to Canelo to lock in that Sept. 16 date. That’s an important date to boxing, and Canelo did something that no other fighter since me has done — that’s move Mayweather out of that Sept. 16 date. Every [proposal] was sweet, and Jerry Jones is as good as they come when it comes landing the big event, but Canelo was adamant about securing that date.”
A trade was made: Keep Sept. 16, but have it in Vegas with no competition.
Mayweather is 40 and has been out of the game since defeating some stiff named Andre Berto in September 2015 to match Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0. A Mayweather/McGregor fight reeks of a three-headed-dog show more than a boxing match, but it’s guaranteed to generate millions of pay-per-view buys. Mayweather cares about that more than any record, championship or belt.
As big as that show will be, it should not eclipse what should be a brilliant fight in Canelo versus Triple G.
So we in North Texas won’t be hosting that match, but De La Hoya is committed to bringing fights to Texas, and specifically to continue to work with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys for more events. It wasn’t GGG, but Canelo fought Liam Smith at AT&T Stadium last year.
“First of all, there is no better venue or partner and promoter than Jerry Jones and that stadium,” De La Hoya said. “We want to bring big time boxing to that stadium and to Texas. We want to take the club level fights where fans can identify these young champions and can grow with them. It’s a very important market for us and I think the area can grow substantially.”
Golden Boy promotions will host a Fight Night outside at The Star in Frisco on Saturday featuring “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano (30-5-1, 21 KOs) and Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (23-3-1, 19 KOs) in the main event.
The original feature fight for this night was supposed to be Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland; an injury to the latter forced a change of events. De La Hoya said that potential fight remains up in the air.
On Saturday, the doors open at 6 p.m., with the main event tentatively scheduled for 10. The main event will essentially make or end one of these fighters.
Three of Cano’s five losses have been to quality opponents — Erik Morales, Paulie Malignaggi and Shane Mosley, but, “five losses is five losses,” De La Hoya said.
If Cano wins this fight, he should advance in the welterweight division. If he loses, he’s going to have a hard time finding another shot at a quality opponent.
“Absolutely,” De La Hoya said. “In boxing you are as good as your last fight. He has to come out with everything. This is a crossroads fight for both. He’s had quality losses but you need to prove why you belong on a championship level.”
Maldonado needs this to prove he is worthy of this level, and of another quality fight on a larger stage rather than a quaint club.
“This is a style match-up,” De La Hoya said. “This is what we want in this fights. The winner moves to a championship level while the loser has to move on.”
It should be a good, fun night of boxing ... just not the one we in North Texas preferred.
Another reason not to like Floyd Mayweather.
Mac Engel: @macengelprof