Golden Boy Promotions chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya has lashed out at unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin claiming the Kazakh bomber and his team don’t want any national anthems played at his fights.
With Golovkin’s rematch against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez less than a fortnight away, De La Hoya told Villainfy Media that the 36-year-old world champion doesn’t have any respect for the traditions of boxing.
“The Golovkin people didn’t want to sing the national anthems before the fight. That’s a ritual,” said De La Hoya. “Having a national anthem before a championship fight is what you’re supposed to do. It makes it feel like a bigger event.
“Golovkin’s people didn’t want the Kazakhstan national anthem to be sang, the Mexican national anthem to be sung, the American national anthem to be sung. I mean what else are they going to demand? Jesus, are they going to cancel the fight? It’s ridiculous, just go out there and fight!”
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler hasn’t taken the accusations lying down, issuing a strongly worded response.
“I have no idea what Oscar is talking about but it is not true,” said Loeffler. “The truth is Team Golovkin had requested that the national anthems of Kazakhstan, Mexico and the United States be sung before the pay-per-view telecast began so that we could proceed with the fights seamlessly and uninterrupted.
“HBO supported this position and has always preferred that the anthems take place before the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast begins. To suggest that Gennady is unpatriotic and has no respect for the anthems of his Kazakhstan, Mexico or the U.S., where Gennady resides in southern California, is patently false.
“Oscar and Canelo owe Gennady yet another apology. This is just another example of why Gennady never believes anything from Canelo’s side.”
The undefeated WBA and WBA champion Golovkin 38-0-1 (34) was held to a draw by Mexico’s Alvarez 49-1-2 (34) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada last September.
The pair will get the chance to settle the score when they meet at the same venue on Saturday, September 15.
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