Ronnie Nathanielsz reports that Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has decided to weigh in on the news that Oscar de la Hoya has checked into a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse issues, and suggests that the "Golden Boy" get clean and fight again:
"That’s what happens when you are rich and you’re bored, you start to experiment."
Ariza offered the explanation that De La Hoya "has no motivation" and suggested that "he should go into rehab, get cleaned up and get back into training maybe to fight (Julio Cesar) Chavez Jr."
The strength and conditioning guru also said that De La Hoya probably hadn’t gotten over the bad beating he suffered at the hands of Manny Pacquiao when De La Hoya quit on his stool after eight rounds and retired from boxing.
Oscar de la Hoya is 38 years old. He hasn't fought since December 2008, and hasn't been a true full-time fighter since Bernard Hopkins knocked him out on a body shot in 2004. It's been a long time. Would anyone actually expect Oscar de la Hoya to make a successful in-ring comeback? And even if he did, does that really sound like some kind of cure for substance abuse to anyone? I mean, he'd have to retire again sooner than later. Then what should he do? Maybe he's not over his last fight, but now he's dealing with lingering issues as well as what currently plagues him. He doesn't need to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr to get past roadblocks. He's already done the right thing and made the most important step.
Why would a desperate attempt to return to past glories help? Oscar should probably look forward, not backward. He's a successful promoter whose company has exceeded all expectations (don't forget, most predicted certain doom for Golden Boy Promotions). He's got his money, his family, and his future. He was once a star fighter. But now he's not. Yes, that might be a block for him. But fighting again is almost surely not the answer.