Georges St-Pierre explains how Dana White, the UFC stopped him from boxing Oscar De La Hoya – .

Georges St-Pierre explains how Dana White, the UFC stopped him from boxing Oscar De La Hoya – .

When Triller officials were looking for an opponent to pitch against Oscar De La Hoya for the boxing legend to return on September 11 to the ring, Vitor Belfort was not their first choice.

Instead, that honor went to Georges St-Pierre.

St-Pierre spoke about the experience on Wednesday MMA time, explaining that he was contacted to do a 170-pound “novelty fight” against De La Hoya in 12- or 14-ounce gloves. The fight would have lasted eight two-minute rounds, St-Pierre said, and much of the proceeds would have gone to charity.

And St-Pierre? He was all on board.

“I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” St-Pierre told host Ariel Helwani. “My career in proving that I am the strongest man in the world in the sport of mixed martial arts is over. I’m 40 years old. But to do something different, something that could be fun and very motivating for me, plus a lot of money would have been given to charity, against a sports legend like Oscar De La Hoya, I think I would have.

“Not because I think I was a better boxer than Oscar De La Hoya when he was in his prime, but now I think he probably has more mileage than me. I’m in great shape, I’m younger, I used to compete in a heavier weight class. I think it would be a fair fight that the fans wanted to watch. “

Despite St-Pierre’s enthusiasm for the opportunity, there was one major obstacle in his path: his contract with the UFC.

A former UFC two-division champion, St-Pierre retired from mixed martial arts in 2017 following his middleweight title win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217, but his contract with the promotion remains active to this day. UFC officials have allowed other UFC veterans like Ben Askren and Chad Mendes in recent months to take high profile excursions into non-MMA fights, but St-Pierre said the president of UFC Dana White was against letting him do the same. – even after St-Pierre had brought in a familiar third party.

“I even called [former UFC owner] Lorenzo [Fertitta] to try to convince Dana, ”said St-Pierre. “Lorenzo liked the idea, but Dana didn’t want it. I knew he hated Oscar but I said, ‘Look, I’m going to make Oscar look bad because I’m great. I’ve been in great shape the whole time and I’m going to do a full boxing training camp with Freddie Roach and his world champions there, so I’ll be really well prepared.

“At first he told me the reason he didn’t want it was because he thought Oscar would basically destroy me in a boxing match. And I had a good argument – I told him I believe Oscar has more mileage than me, he’s not in his prime anymore, I kept busy all the time, I still am in great shape, I will be very well prepared and I am taking this fight very seriously. If I do, because it’s my name – my image is attached to it – I will do it 100%. And I said to Dana, I said, ‘If there’s one MMA fighter who goes into boxing and looks good in this situation, it would be me. ”

“And at first, he refused,” continued St-Pierre. “Then he thought about it but he came back with the argument that, oh, no, it’s not because he thinks Oscar is going to win; he thinks it’s because he doesn’t like the fact that Triller takes me and makes money off my back while I’m still under contract with the UFC. So what Dana said – listen to this – then he came back and he asked me if I wanted to fight Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. And I said to Dana, I said, ‘This is very strange. Why didn’t you want to do the fight when you were asked to do so a few years ago? Why is it now? ‘ He said: ‘Yeah, because Khabib wasn’t retired and he wasn’t the same guy he was. Now it all makes sense. So I didn’t want to, but I was curious to see what would have happened, so I said, ‘I’ll think about it’ and waited.

“It turns out that not long after I saw people in the media saying that, oh, now Khabib, he doesn’t want to fight me because I asked for the fight with Khabib. I never asked for the fight with Khabib. It was Dana White who probably went to see Khabib and (the manager) Ali Abdelaziz and told them that Georges wanted to fight Khabib. We asked a long time ago, but I didn’t ask anymore. I no longer implored this fight. We’re both retired and I’m fine.

St Peter said a few years ago he allegedly jumped at the chance to fight Nurmagomedov – and Nurmagomedov probably did the same – but that time was over for both men. He said he never accepted White’s counter-proposal and would reject it, but he found it interesting to see how the narrative unfolded from there.

“Dana White had a lot of heat for not letting me beat myself up from the media, so he asked me to fight Khabib because he was expecting a negative response from me,” St-Pierre said. “So he would have had a good point, a good reason, in telling the media, ‘George refused to fight for us, so I’m not going to let him fight for someone else.’ So that’s the reason I waited to see what happened, and it turned out I was right, I think. So Khabib refused, but I didn’t mean to say yes.

“I caught Dana White’s bluff. That’s what happened, ”added St-Pierre later. “Not that it was a bluff, but the main reason he wanted to do it was because of the heat he was getting from the media. And the fact that maybe he also wanted to make some extra money, try a home run, because he knew Khabib and I were retired.

St-Pierre expressed his disappointment with the way the whole situation turned out. He said it would have been a fun opportunity for him to test himself in a new arena against a legendary opponent – St-Pierre praised De La Hoya as the second favorite boxer of all time – and his participation Could have helped raise a lot of money for a good charitable cause too.

“In my last fight with Michael Bisping, I won a lot more money than I would have won for Oscar De La Hoya. But it would still be a lot of money for an eight-round, two-minute fight, ”said St-Pierre. “It’s a lot of

Although he missed this opportunity, St-Pierre is still optimistic that something could change in the future. He said he was going to “be free” in a few years once his UFC contract expires, and although his mixed martial arts career is over, he plans to stay in shape and could certainly be brought back to combat sports if he does. the right match comes along.

“Maybe,” St-Pierre said. “I encourage Vitor, Vitor is a friend of mine. But if something happens and maybe Oscar wins, or something like that, maybe I’ll get Oscar after. We will see. I’m still on contract for, I think, another year or two with the UFC. But I’m not going anywhere. If I’m still interested in the idea when I’m 41 or 42, maybe I’ll go back to it.


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