Canelo Alvarez and Oscar de la Hoya feud explained

Canelo Alvarez and Oscar de la Hoya used to be friends. Here's what happened and why they are. not friendly anymore.
Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez
Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Munguia press conference took a wrong turn when a heated argument between Canelo and Oscar de la Hoya resulted in a war of words. Although unfortunate, the incident marks the rock bottom of Alvarez and de la Hoya’s relationship, which has slowly deteriorated over time.

Alvarez signed a contract with de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2010 when he was a relative newcomer in the professional boxing circuit. During his time with the promotion, Alvarez slowly gained popularity outside of Mexico and became the global superstar we know him as today.

Alvarez became the most promising fighter of Golden Boy Promotions in the late 2010s. Following his win over Gennady Golovkin in September 2018, he signed the historic 11-fight, $365 million deal with DAZN.

This was the time when DAZN was a fresh entrant in the American market and having a megastar like Alvarez helped them with rapid expansion. While the contract seemed to have benefitted all parties initially, it also laid the foundation of the feud between Alvarez and de la Hoya.

First signs of trouble between Canelo Alvarez and Oscar de la Hoya

Alvarez’s $365 million contract required him to fight in May and September from 2019 to 2023. But things started turning sour within a year of inking this deal and public statements from Alvarez suggested that he was not happy with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.

After Alvarez’s win over Daniel Jacobs in May 2019, the negotiations were underway for a September 2019 clash against mandatory IBF challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko. However, the deal could not be finalized before the IBF deadline, which resulted in Alvarez getting stripped of the IBF middleweight title.

According to an ESPN report, Alvarez blamed de la Hoya for the failed negotiations. While speaking to the media before his next fight against Sergey Kovalev, he labeled his relationship with de la Hoya as a "working relationship", a far cry from the personal bond the duo had shared for almost a decade.

Public fallout and Canelo Alvarez’s departure from Golden Boy Promotions

While it became adequately clear that Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions were no longer on good terms, things went from bad to worse in 2020. Alvarez filed a lawsuit against Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN. The complaint alleged that both parties had breached the contract, causing Alvarez damages of at least $280 million.

The lawsuit accused DAZN of undue interference in Alvarez’s choice of opponents. It further stated that DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions failed to provide a satisfactory plan of action to Alvarez in 2020 while paying him substantially less than the guaranteed pay.

The lawsuit led to a public fallout between Alvarez and de la Hoya. Alvarez’s contract was dissolved in the following months and he became one of the most valuable free agents in the sport of boxing. His departure from Golden Boy Promotions marked the end of an era.

Things went south when Canelo Alvarez and Oscar de la Hoya shared the stage after five years

Alvarez’s career has continued to flourish after the unpleasant episode. Barring the exception of Dmitry Bivol, Alvarez has handily defeated most of his opponents and looks poised to make further progress.

Alvarez and de la Hoya’s paths crossed once again in light of the upcoming Alvarez vs Munguia fight. 27-year-old Jaime Munguia represents Golden Boy Promotions and was accompanied by de la Hoya at the pre-fight press conference on May 1.

Alvarez and de la Hoya, who shared the stage for the first time since 2019, engaged in a heated debate after de la Hoyaa took several verbal jabs at Alvarez and accused him of failing two drug tests.

The years of pent-up frustration surfaced after de la Hoya’s comments as Alvarez stood up and approached him with an aggressive posture. However, the security team intervened in time and the situation did not escalate further.

Reacting to the incident, Alvarez claimed that de la Hoya made the allegations during the press conference because he was still upset about Canelo’s departure from Golden Boy Promotions. He further accused de la Hoya of carrying out financial malpractices during his time with the promotion.

While it is hard to understand why Alvarez and de la Hoya could not resolve their differences based on the information available in the public forum, it seems likely that the duo might find it difficult to have a cordial relationship.