The multi-weight champion and legend of the sport commented following several reports of an imminent deal between UFC title holder McGregor and Mayweather to fight in the squared circle.
“Boxing is boxing and MMA is MMA. They’re two separate sports,” De Le Hoya said.
“It would be a joke, it would be an embarrassment for boxing if an MMA fighter were to go into the ring. It would be a no-contest. It would be the same thing if a fighter went into the Octagon, it would be an embarrassment for MMA.”
Promoter De La Hoya then went on to urge McGregor to start at the very bottom like everyone else.
“If McGregor gets inside a boxing ring, he’ll get outclassed easy. McGregor has never fought a boxer, ever in his life,” the Olympic gold medallist pointed out.
“In all seriousness, he should start off by fighting an amateur boxer, win a few amateur fights, maybe go on to win the Golden Gloves or something, and then when you turn pro he should fight a four-rounder, [in] which maybe he’ll get beat.
“But he should get experience in boxing and then call out the best. You cannot be calling out a top fighter in boxing right off the bat,” added De La Hoya.
Mayweather is hoping to earn a nine-figure paycheck for fighting McGregor, although problems with his potential opponent’s UFC contract are holding up an agreement.