Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya is picking WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to defeat and perhaps even stop WBA counterpart Austin Trout in their April 20 bout, and said he believes that Robert Guerrero to will overcome Floyd Mayweather in their clash for Mayweather’s WBC welterweight belt on May 4.
De La Hoya, who turned 40 last month, downplayed a recent offer by promoter Don King for De La Hoya to return to the ring in order to avenge a majority decision loss to Felix Trinidad from September 1999.
Things got heated between Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts), of Las Vegas, and Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., during a shooting of Showtime’s All Access on Saturday in Las Vegas.
In his last fight in May of last year, Mayweather, who turned 36 in February, scored a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto. Mayweather then served an 87-day jail sentence at the Clark County Detention Center that began on June 1 of last year and ended on Aug. 3.
A 29-year-old former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder, Guerrero is coming off a unanimous decision over Andre Berto last November that represented his 15th straight win during a run that includes nine stoppages.
Guerrero last suffered defeat by a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005, but won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
Mayweather-Guerrero will happen at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay Per View.
“I’m always going with the underdog. I think that it’s going to be a very physical fight,” said De La Hoya, who was dethroned as WBC 154-pound titleholder by Mayweather in May of 2007, a match up that holds the all-time record of pay-per-view buys with more than 2.5 million.
“If he catches Mayweather the way he was catching Berto and the way that he was roughing him up, then, obviously, we’ll have a real fight on our hands. But my opinion is that Guerrero can pull the upset. I believe that it will be a decision.”
In his past two fights, Trout (26-0, 14 KOs), who is 27, has unanimously decisioned Delvin Rodriguez and Cotto in June and December, respectively.
Alvarez-Trout is headed for The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Showtime.
For De La Hoya, the intensity of Alvarez-Trout conjures the controversial draw between then-WBC welterweight beltholder Pernell Whitaker and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. at The Alamodome in September of 1993.
“Canelo-Trout is going to be an incredible, incredible fight. Being at the Alamodome, it’s going to remind me of when I witnessed Chavez versus Whitaker. That type of atmosphere, but not the outcome. But the atmosphere was intense,” said De La Hoya.
“I’m going to go with my guy. I’m going to go with Canelo. The confidence that I have in Canelo, I even think that he might even stop him. Canelo, right now, is only improving and all the doubters — every single one — should watch this fight very closely, because they will become believers.”
King is in Brooklyn, as is Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, promoting Saturday night’s HBO-televised match up between IBF 175-pound titleholder Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) and former RING light heavyweight and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In September of 2001 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hopkins’ 12-round knockout handed Trinidad his first career loss, adding the loser’s WBA belt to the IBF and WBC titles Hopkins already owned.
During a Wednesday press conference, King, who handled Trinidad, proposed comeback fights for both Hopkins and De La Hoya against Trinidad. Trinidad turned 40 in January.
“Oscar De La Hoya asked me to get him a rematch with Felix Trinidad. He wants to come back and avenge his loss to Felix Trinidad,” said King, who promotes Cloud.
“At the same token, I want to ask Bernard, when he gets knocked out [by Cloud]…He looks like a young man who is 25 years old. Trinidad says that if he does come back and beat Oscar again, that he wants to avenge his loss to Bernard.”
De La Hoya, however, dismissed the notion of a comeback.
“You know, my thing is that I’m happily retired. I’m going to stay retired and that’s about it,” said De La Hoya, who listed his walking around weight as “about 166 pounds.”
“My thoughts are that Don King is digging too deep. My thoughts are that Hopkins is not only going to beat Tavoris, but that he’s also going to, just like Hopkins said, retire Don King. So, my feelings are Don King is digging just a little too deep.”
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org