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De La Hoya: Triller Comeback Has A Reason

Latino Sports

New York: Oscar De La Hoya is making a comeback. Yes, you heard that right. This has been a rumor the past month but the Hall of Famer with 11 world titles in six weight classes is obviously looking for something more.

And that something is known as Triller Fight Club. The newest promotion on the block is also a vehicle for De La Hoya to cross promote his contracted talent with Golden Boy Promotions.

Honestly, I am not thrilled with a combination of boxing and entertainment. But Triller Fight Club is a new promotion and provides legitimate fighters an opportunity to shine on pay-per-view in between the mix of listening to Snoop Dog, Justin Bieber, The Black Keys, Saweetie, Major Lazer.

Oh, there is SNL star Pete Davidson (My favorite) calling the event with established colleagues Al Bernstein, Ray Flores, and Mike Coppinger. But I want to see good boxing on the upcoming Triller April 17 PPV broadcast from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

On the other hand, De La Hoya, can’t be taken seriously with his comeback attempt. As they say, he is over the hill and has not been in the ring since 2008. But Triller had a successful and huge pay-per-view bonanza in late November with the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition.

Then, Tyson-Jones was supposed to be nostalgic. I was wrong because fight fans were content and want to see more of the legends. So, serious or not, De La Hoya will have that upcoming opportunity in all probability with another legend.

The Emmy – winning filmmaker Bert Marcus says the concept is a new kind of cinematic entertainment and at a suggested retail price of $49.99 you get what you want.

But let’s get back to basics here. Boxing fans want to see fights. During a busy first portion of 2021, there have been many to choose and more to come that deserve attention. I say leave the entertainment on a separate platform, then again I am old school and the attention should be promoting the sport for the upcoming fighter, champions, and those with title opportunities.

And why oh why do we want to see Oscar De La Hoya on this platform? The Hall of Famer made it official and will come out of retirement on July 3. So the Golden Boy and his bogus comeback will not be on the DAZN platform that promotes Vergil Ortiz Jr and Ryan Garcia, his two main and ranked fighters awaiting championship fights.

So go figure what De La Hoya is doing when supposedly he is content as a promoter and always saying he is doing the best for boxing. But his bombshell on a stage Friday, in Los Angeles, and with Snoop Dog at a virtual press conference, has everyone talking.

It was pure theatre when De La Hoya dropped the mic in front of the promoter Snoop Dogg.

Though, there is some serious business here for the legitimate fighters that are on the card. I am content that Antonio Tarver was denied his comeback fight for medical reasons and that former IBF title holder Steve Cunningham will step in and fight heavyweight MMA’s Frank Mir.

I can pass on Jake Paul taking on former Bellator and champion Ben Askren. Though, Paul is the attraction and will bring viewers with his popularity. Just don’t give us another mismatch and danger zone that former NBA star Nate Robinson received on the first Triller card with help from Tyson and Jones that resulted in a draw.

But I want to see Regis Prograis. He is fighting for something and looking at another opportunity to regain a portion of the junior welterweight title when he opposes Ivan Redkach.

As Prograis says, this is another platform for fighters and perhaps he is right. Fighters seek opportunity when it presents and Prograis is looking at a good pay day that could not be offered with the PBC, Matchroom, Top Rank, or Golden Boy.

A Pay -Per-View fight will generate more income. Prograis gets a bigger purse with incentives and in turn a win puts him in great position to possibly fight the winner of the May 22 unification fight on ESPN with Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor.

“Yeah, I definitely think a lot of fighters are going to try to do this,” Prograis said..” I keep telling people I’m glad I got the call. I’m pretty sure Ivan is glad he got the call too, because this is a huge platform. And to pay us all this money, of course, yeah, I think a lot of other fighters, they’re going to be trying to reach out.”

“Man, I want to go fight on Triller, I want to go fight on Triller, because it’s an event. Just like I keep saying, it’s going to be a whole event.”

He said this is different from a regular boxing show, and of course the entertainment is taking away significance of his fight also referring to having a mainstream fighter on the card will make a boxing fan tune in.

“I think Triller will be coming in strong,” Prograis said. “ You’ve got this going on. And from what I saw, they’re doing the Teofimo fight (lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez). I don’t know how much of a threat they’ll be, but for right now looks like they’re going to be one of the top people in the sport.”

“ That’s the thing I’m fighting a real fighter. That’s what I know, I’m fighting a real fighter. And then you’ve got to look at — you can’t look at the negative. You have to look at the positive. You don’t just have boxing as just regular boxing. Now you have a whole event going around.”

He said boxing needed something like this to happen. Indeed the sport is saturated and for fighters that is good even for Regis Prograis, Ivan Redkch, and Steve Cunningham.

At least Cunningham has something left in his arsenal. As for De La Hoya? I say stick to promoting. Then again, this is all about money and the Golden Boy will get a huge pay day that he probably needs.

THROWING THE PUNCHES: Jaron Ennis and his upcoming April 10 welterweight main event from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime. There are implications as to where he stands for a title opportunity at 147 when he opposes Sergey Lipinets,

““I know Sergey Lipinets is going to come forward and be right in front of me. That’s his style and it’s perfect for me. His style clashes perfectly with mine and he’s going to be running into shots all night long,” he said on a Zoom call.

Undefeated Elmantas Stanionis in the co-main event, as he faces former world title challenger Thomas Dulorme in a 12-round WBA Welterweight Title Eliminator….

Twin bill in Philadelphia does indicate that boxing is still strong and also abiding with medical protocols in what has once again become the fight center city. April 17 at the 2300 Arena. Donald Smith and Dylan Price will headline the respective shows in what cani be compared to a day-night doubleheader at the ballpark.

Price Promotions begins at 4:30 and 8pm. Price, undefeated, takes on Gabriel Bernardi for an eight round NBA Regional Super Flyweight title. In the evening Rashan Adams opposes Da’vaughtae Ross in a super lightweight bout. And take a look in the afternoon when featherweight Donald Smith opposes Braulio Avila in a six round bout. Contact for more info and tickets….

Estrella Media, a leading vertically integrated, multi-platform, Spanish-language media company in the U.S., is bringing boxing back to its EstrellaTV network’s Friday night lineup with the monthly “Boxeo EstrellaTV” launching Friday night at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. The two-hour broadcast from the Fit Center in Mexico City main event fight will be the WBC FECARBOX (Federacion Centroamericana de Boxeo Profesional) Latino Flyweight Title fight between Adrian “Gato” Curiel (17-3, 5 KOs) and Cristian “El Chicharito” González (13-1, 5 KOs)…

Congratulations to Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna getting a shot for the WBA Super Middleweight title opposing champion Erislandy Lara in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night, May 1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson California.

Lamanna got the opportunity self promoting his last two fights in Mexico and climbed the ladder. Thing is his fight proceeds to a FOX pay-per-view heavyweight fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. and Chris Arreola which by all standards belongs on FOX and not PPV…

Not surprised that Canelo Alvarez ticket sales are over 40,000 for a socially distanced crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. He is the face of boxing and Billy Joe Saunders could be a challenge to stop the Canelo legacy from continuing…

Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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