Hearn Fires Back at De La Hoya’s Comments: ‘Don’t Do Drugs, Kids’

Boxing Scene

Eddie Hearn could not help but be amused by the recent criticism directed at him by fellow promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

De La Hoya, the head of Golden Boy Promotions, excoriated Hearn recently after Canelo Alvarez dropped a unanimous decision to Dmitry Bivol earlier this month in their 12-round light heavyweight title bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Hearn currently promotes Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168, as part of a multi-fight deal, but for the longest time Alvarez’s business was conducted by De La Hoya; the two famously parted ways in 2020 after a legal tussle.

De La Hoya pointed the finger at Hearn for failing to see that Bivol, a natural 175-pounder with elite boxing ability, was a bridge too far for Alvarez.  

“The fact that the promoter of this event pushed Bivol on Canelo, it was the dumbest move in boxing history…it’s not knowing boxing,” De La Hoya told USA Today. “It was the stupidest move…whoever allowed Canelo to fight Bivol. I would’ve never allowed Canelo to fight Bivol.”

De La Hoya also reached out directly to Alvarez on Twitter about working together again.

Hearn, however, believes De La Hoya’s comments are amiss. Hearn pointed out that he does not call the shots for Alvarez, saying that it is Alvarez who gets the final say on his opponents. Hearn also took a dig at De La Hoya’s self-described substance abuse over the years.    

“To think that Canelo Alvarez will let me make the decisions on his career is a bit naïve of Oscar De La Hoya,” Hearn told Tha Boxing Voice. “Oscar De La Hoya says a lot, but you know I mean the greatest sort of lesson you can learn from those comments is, you know, don’t do drugs, kids. That’s the basis of [those comments].

Hearn conceded that De La Hoya may be more knowledgeable about boxing but pushed back against the notion that Alvarez should have received a softer touch. Alvarez, said Hearn, should be commended for trying to get “outside of his comfort zone” and earn another title at light heavyweight.

“Oscar De La Hoya was a tremendous boxer,” Hearn said. “He definitely knows more about boxing than me, but I don’t have any say as to who Canelo Alvarez will fight. Him and [trainer and manager] Eddy Reynoso choose the fights. He was a big favorite against Dmitry Bivol and got beat.

“That’s boxing. What do you want? A champion not to take any tough tests? We should be applauding Canelo Alvarez for wanting to continually test himself outside of his comfort zone.” 

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