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Oscar de la Hoya Denies Rumors of Return to Boxing

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Oscar de la Hoya should stick to his role as promoter, and forget about returning to the ring. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Oscar de la Hoya should stick to his role as promoter, and forget about returning to the ring. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Miguel Rivera of reports that Oscar de la Hoya had a brief and pretty clear response to the recent rumors that he's considering a return to the ring:

"No, no return, but I'm in good shape," De La Hoya said.

The rumors came from Floyd Mayweather Sr, apparently, who says he was told that Oscar was talking comeback, and Floyd Sr said he'd be interested in training Oscar again.

De la Hoya (39-6, 30 KO) hasn't fought since December 2008, when he was embarrassed by Manny Pacquiao and forced to quit after eight rounds of brutal, one-sided action. Oscar was clearly out of shape, having badly overtrained to make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds for the first time in almost eight years, and was never in the fight against Manny.

Overall, Oscar's ring days didn't end beautifully. In his last five fights, between 2004 and 2008, he lost to Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Bernard Hopkins, with wins over second-tier opponents Ricardo Mayorga and Steve Forbes. He went back and forth between losses and wins in his last seven fights, going 3-4 overall, and many would argue he should have been 2-5, with a loss to Felix Sturm in 2004.

He's also 38 years old now and was a part-time fighter for years. While losing to the likes of Shane Mosley (debatable), Hopkins, Mayweather, and Pacquiao toward the end of a career is nothing to be ashamed of, I think it became clear over time that as a part-time fighter, "The Golden Boy" just wasn't the same fighter who became a global star in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was still good, even very good, but not the same.

A comeback would, in my view, be quite ill-advised, but it wouldn't surprise me. Oscar went through a rehab stint earlier this year, during which Pacquiao conditioning coach Alex Ariza said Oscar should fight again, but I wondered then how that would really help. How long could he fight? Two, maybe three years? He's already set financially. He's got a successful, real promotional company. And if getting away from boxing is what led him down a dark path, then why would he go back now that he's better learning to accept that it's part of his past? It made no sense to me then, makes no sense to me now.

If he really wants to fight, of course, he will. There are fights out there for him. He could rematch Mayweather. He could rematch Pacquiao. He could, I guess, rematch Bernard Hopkins, or fight Shane Mosley a third time (ugh). He could fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, or even Canelo Alvarez.

He'd be in demand because he's still a big star. He'd be in a unique position because he's also a star promoter. But I hope he doesn't come back. I don't think he'd be in it 100% and I just don't think it's a good idea. He's one of the lucky few who doesn't need money, and got out before things got worse.