Oscar De La Hoya strongly believes that his fighter Canelo Alvarez is the No.1 pound-for-pound king in the sport of boxing.

The fighter-turned-promoter feels that Mexican superstar Canelo differs from his rivals for boxing’s fictional pound-for-pound crown because he seeks challenges over financial considerations.

Last November, Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) stepped up two weight divisions to knock out WBO 175lbs champion Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round and was closing in on a fight with WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders when the Covid-19 pandemic intervened. The four-weight champion is likely to return on September 16 against a foe to be determined.

“I have to put Canelo up there at first, just because of who he has been fighting and who he wants to fight. I strongly feel that Canelo is the only guy that wants to fight the very best,” De La Hoya told ES News.

”Every other fighter, the first question they ask is, ‘How much money are we going to make?’ Canelo doesn’t even ask that he’s just, ‘I want to fight the best’.”

Canelo won a title in a fourth division with his KO of Kovalev in November 2019.
Photo: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions.

Yet De La Hoya also lavished praise on other elite fighters, placing WBO welterweight title-holder Terence Crawford and unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko next on his personal list of boxing’s finest.

“Crawford and Lomachenko are tied,” he added. “I think Crawford has the potential to be a megastar, a superstar because of his abilities, his craft. I think [Lomachenko] is a tremendous fighter and he can fight at 140 if he wants to, and do well.”