Will MMA Fans Embrace the Golden Boy?

There's an interesting (and annoying) article up over at ESPN about De la Hoya's involvement in MMA.

A number of boxing characters comment on the sport.  Let's start off with scumbag number one, Gary Shaw:

"Oscar is not into MMA," Shaw said. "He can't sit there and tell you anything about the moves or strategies that these guys are using. Oscar is not into MMA, and the people who are in MMA are haters. They will never accept him. Oscar won't be able to overcome that."

After quoting Gary, whose only experience with MMA is blowing a bunch of money and making a mockery of the sport, we turn to Bob Arum:

I really don't enjoy or like MMA," Arum said. "It's ludicrous. It's not skillful...actually, I find it offensive. The guys can't punch. They get on the floor and it looks like two guys humping each other.

Besides this idiotic statement, Arum points out it will be very hard to go in and compete with UFC, and he expects Oscar to lose a lot of money.  At the very least, he proved here that being ignorant doesn't necessarily mean you're an idiot.

Finally, we get to Oscar:

De La Hoya said he has been following MMA for about a year and finds it interesting.

"I respect any type of fighter," De La Hoya said. "Being in the ring is a tough gig."

I am only a casual fan of boxing.  I watch big fights and occasional HBO specials.  Given that, I still thought Oscar going nuts during the main event at Affliction was pretty cool.  

Gary Shaw is delusional if he thinks Oscar's main obstacle is being an outsider.  If anything, the man is very well-respected in MMA circles.  Gary can call MMA fans haters all he wants, but I have no doubt that boxing hardcores hate MMA a lot more than MMA hardcores hate boxing.  In fact, I'm aware of UFC research showing the boxing/MMA crossover is much stronger among hardcore MMA fans than casual fans.  

Gary Shaw wants Oscar to fail or quit because he needs an excuse for his own failure.  The real reason for his failure is a lot like the reason for most people's failures.  He did a god-awful job and paid the price for it.

-- photo via Showtime

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