New Delhi: It's not uncommon for boxers to take the help of printed words to destroy their opponents. Boxing has always been one sport which requires a bit more of pomp and verbosity. And a little hyperbole never hurts.
That's what exactly "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya did against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, who recently retired with a 49-0 professional record. De La Hoya described Mayweather, regarded as the shrewdest if not the greatest greatest pound for pound fighter of all time as "boring". Not a knock out punch from the Mexican American but, certainly enough to start a new boxing war.
De La Hoya, who himself a legend, in a sensational letter which appears in the December issue of Playboy magazine in the USA, shredded Mayweather.
The duo met in super welterweight super-fight, aptly called the The World Awaits on May 5, 2007, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather won by split decision in 12 rounds, capturing the WBC light middleweight title.
A rematch, despite huge speculation, never materialised due to Mayweather's first retirement in 2008 and De La Hoya's retirement in 2009.
Here's what the former Olympic gold medallist and 17-time world champion in six divisions wrote against the richest athlete on planet:
“You did it. You made it to the 49–0 mark, a milestone that you like to say only the great Rocky Marciano reached but that was actually achieved by others, including my idol Julio César Chávez – but who’s counting? And now you’re retiring. Again.
“This time you say it’s for real. You’re serious about hanging up the gloves. On to bigger and better things. So I’m writing to you today to wish you a fond farewell. Truth be told, I’m not unhappy to see you retire. Neither are a lot of boxing fans. Scratch that. MOST boxing fans. Why? Because the fight game will be a better one without you in it.
"Let’s face it: You were boring. Just take a look at your most recent performance, your last hurrah in the ring, a 12-round decision against Andre Berto. How to describe it? A bust? A disaster? A snooze fest? An affair so one-sided that on one judge’s card Berto didn’t win a single round? Everyone in boxing knew Berto didn’t have a chance.
“I think more people watched Family Guy reruns that night than tuned in to that pay-per-view bout. But I didn’t mind shelling out $75 for the HD broadcast. In fact it’s been a great investment. When my kids have trouble falling asleep, I don’t have to read to them anymore. I just play them your Berto fight. They don’t make it past round three.
“Another reason boxing is better off without you: You were afraid. Afraid of taking chances. Afraid of risk.
“A perfect example is your greatest ‘triumph,’ the long-awaited record-breaking fight between you and Manny Pacquiao. Nearly 4.5m buys! More than $400 million in revenue! Headlines worldwide!
"How can that be bad for boxing? Because you lied. You promised action and entertainment and a battle for the ages, and you delivered none of the above. The problem is, that’s precisely how you want it.
"You should have fought Pacquiao five years ago, not five months ago. That, however, would have been too dangerous. Too risky.”