UFC president Dana White has emphatically hit out at Oscar De La Hoya's strong criticism of a lucrative cross-code boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor, claiming it makes him look "weird" and betrays a curious lack of confidence in September's eagerly anticipated middleweight showdown between Golden Boy Promotions star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
A 10-time, six-weight world champion turned successful promoter, De La Hoya posted an open letter on his official Facebook page last week in which he called on boxing fans to help protect the sport from the "circus known as Mayweather vs McGregor". He claimed it might never recover from a one-sided beatdown that would eclipse "Money's" so-called "Fight of the Century" dud against long-time rival Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and insisted that both fighters were only motivated by financial gain.
"It's a win-win for them. It's a lose-lose for us," he said.
Such comments clearly irked White, who claims to have always enjoyed a good relationship with De La Hoya and was recently present at ringside in Las Vegas for Canelo's dominant victory over fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
He tweeted on Wednesday (31 May) two separate interviews with the 1992 Olympic gold medalist supposedly conducted four months apart, one in which he criticised a potential cross-sport match-up and another where he appeared to talk up a clash between McGregor and Canelo.
Responding further to De La Hoya in an explosive interview with TMZ Sports, White said: "I was just at the fight. He's talking about money grabs... Canelo-Chavez, you know what I mean? You're going to put on a fight like that and then call Mayweather-McGregor a money grab when you were trying to make that fight four months ago?
"It's crazy. What is this guy doing? What's his deal? I'm basically saying to him, what's up? Why would you say something like that? Instead it makes it sound like he has no confidence whatsoever in GGG vs Canelo, which I have come out and said publicly is a good fight. I like the fight, I'll watch the fight. He seems completely insecure and it's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen. Talk about two-faced and contradicting...the list goes on and on. Hating like he has no confidence in his fight."
Trashing the notion that the fight would be extremely one-sided, he continued: "Nobody can judge a fight until a fight is over. Hey Oscar, just like when I showed up in my seats to watch Canelo-Chavez, the fight sucked. You know the fight sucked and the whole world knows the fight sucked. You got a better fight in GGG and Canelo, be confident about what you're doing. Be a little confident about your business, Oscar, and don't s**t on other people's stuff. It's weird. It makes you look weird, especially when you wanted this fight four months ago."
Asked for an update on negotiations regarding Mayweather-McGregor following last month's announcement that an agreement with the Irishman had been struck, White said he was confident of it getting done amid further progress but reiterated that there were still hurdles left to clear.
"It's a crazy deal to make," he said.