Prime For Prime – Who Wins: De La Hoya Or Canelo?

By James Slater - 03/22/2024 - Comments

Talk about a grudge-match Dream Fight! Oscar De La Hoya, former promoter and good friend of current Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, going up against the man he had a falling out with and is now aiming to see brought down by his fighter Jaime Munguia.

Prime Vs. Prime, who wins – De La Hoya or Canelo?

De La Hoya, like Canelo a multi-weight champion, was, like Canelo, in possession of a solid, ever-reliable chin. The difference, the biggest difference between the two comes down to speed, of both hand and foot. If these two had fought at 154 pounds (and lower and it’s unfair to Canelo, any higher and it’s unfair to De La Hoya), what would the outcome have been?

A distance fight seems a fair pick. De La Hoya scored some great stoppage wins when fighting at 154, though – see his big wins over Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga. Canelo lodged solid wins over Carlos Baldomir (this one a crushing KO), Kermit Cintron, Sugar Shane Mosley (a past his best version), and Austin Trout. Famously, Canelo also lost to another common opponent he shares with De La Hoya, in Floyd Mayweather.

De La Hoya was asked what would have happened had he and Canelo got it on whilst both were at their peak, this at a recent presser. De La Hoya was pretty blunt when it came to giving his answer.

“Easy, hands down,” De La Hoya said with regards to the time he would have had with Canelo in the ring. “Oh easy, nobody can stop this jab. In my prime? Oh, my footwork was impeccable when you have heavy legs and heavy feet, and you’re walking on quicksand. A fighter like me, I would have probably had Floyd (Mayweather) Senior training me. It would probably have been a walk in the park.”

Obviously, De La Hoya was never going to say, “Gee, Canelo would have beaten me!” This is just not the way a fighter’s mind, or ego, works. Not even when they are retired and have been for numerous years. That fighter’s pride never leaves. Still, some fans might feel an urge to get on Oscar’s case for not at least giving Canelo some respect. Far from it being a “walk in the park,” a fight between De La Hoya and Canelo would likely have been a hard night’s work, a testing and perhaps punishing night’s work for both.

That said, I think De La Hoya, faster, more mobile, with crisper punching power, would have beaten Canelo via clear decision in the end. But what do you guys think?

Canelo has shown he is a modern great. De La Hoya was greater.