Oscar De La Hoya, who hasn’t fought since his Dec. 2008 shellacking at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, told The Ring that he’s “really considering” a comeback, and that it would be a “real fight,” not an exhibition for charity.
De La Hoya is the latest in a long line of old fighters to suggest making some sort of a return, along with Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Bernard Hopkins, and others, not to mention relatively younger men like Marcos Maidana and Ruslan Provodnikov.
“I actually want to see what Tyson does first,” De La Hoya said. “I have been working out, I have been training, I have been staying in shape. I’m obviously not in fighting shape yet, to go 12 rounds, but I’m sure that I can get there. We’ll see.
“I want to see Tyson perform, see how his reflexes are, see if he can go past three, four rounds, and then I’ll make my decision.”
The 53-year-old Tyson made a lot of headlines about potentially coming back to fight charity bouts, and of course real offers to fight for real came in from various promoters, including Bare Knuckle Boxing reportedly making a major offer to the long-retired former heavyweight champion. Most recently, UFC star Jon Jones has suggested he and Tyson do a two-fight deal, one in boxing and one in MMA.
De La Hoya is 47 years old, and did make a couple things clear: he would fight at 160 or maybe 154, saying he’d be open to facing “any top welterweight” who came up from 147 to 154, and he will not fight Canelo Alvarez.
“You take a look at my last fight, with Pacquiao,” he said. “I fought at 160 and came all the way back down to 147 to try and beat a Pacquiao who was just coming up, who was faster than hell, right? And I couldn’t pull the trigger, because I overtrained. My muscles were so lean. I was a walking zombie when I stepped into the ring. I still have reflexes, I still go to the gym every so often. I can still beat anybody I step in the ring with.”
De La Hoya, who went through a ton of trainers over his pro career, said that he feels Floyd Mayweather Sr was and is the best trainer for him, and that he would “consider” Floyd Sr to be his chief second for a comeback attempt.
First things first, this has to be said: Oscar De La Hoya says a lot of things, and this is not the first “hints at a comeback” story in the last 12 years.
And truthfully, 47 is 47, and De La Hoya had a long career with a lot of tough fights. I can’t really imagine him doing well against anyone good from 147 to 160 at this point, particularly with 12 years of inactivity. Life isn’t Rocky Balboa, and really old guys don’t come back from extremely long layoffs to go nip-and-tuck with champions.
Now, would it sell? Would it be an event? Absolutely. If Oscar De La Hoya has a real fight again, it will draw eyes. The casual fan market is fascinated by these comeback ideas, and admittedly they make for good stories, at least until someone actually gets in the ring and gets clobbered by a younger man.