Oscar De La Hoya doubled down on the eyebrow-raising idea of returning to the ring for an actual fight.
De La Hoya last month followed the lead of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, who announced their intentions to take part in exhibitions. However, the Golden Boy took it a step further, saying he wanted to come all the way back at 47 years old.
He told Sports Illustrated that he’s serious, unlike like past instances when he teased a comeback. He hasn’t fought since he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao in 2008.
“I think it’s just a matter of pulling the trigger, of making that decision to go to the gym, to wake up in the morning, to make the sacrifice,” De La Hoya told the SI Boxing Podcast. “Before I wanted to do it, but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pull the trigger. I couldn’t wake up in the morning. I couldn’t take myself to the gym and spar six rounds.
“Now it’s like I have this motivation to do it for myself, to prove to myself that I can do it. And so we’ll see what happens.”
De La Hoya told SI that he works out regularly in Pasadena, Calif., near his home. He said he spars up to six rounds and runs six miles a day. He wants to build up to 12 rounds of sparring by September, which would allow him to fight early next year.
“There are two or three levels I have to get by first,” he said.
De La Hoya said he would expect to fight at 154 pounds, where, he said, “I can do some damage.”
“Skill is involved, obviously,” he said. “My power, you never lose power. Maybe my timing might be off a little, but that’s something that I’m going to have to figure out. So there’s a lot that comes into play. And I just strongly feel that I can do it.”
He didn’t have to think twice about who he’d like to have in his corner: Floyd Mayweather Sr., who worked with him for years.
“Floyd Mayweather Sr. is the only trainer that can tell me to wake up at five in the morning, is the only trainer who can push my buttons and make me work hard and smart,” he said. “I would actually go to him and humbly ask him if he can do this favor for me.”
Who would he fight?
De La Hoya didn’t mention any names but SI threw one out: Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican star promoted by De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. The two reportedly have a cold relationship these days. But a fight between them? C’mon.
“I don’t know,” said De La Hoya, laughing. “Canelo’s an amazing fighter. He’s the best, he’s a pound-for-pound champ. He hits like a mule. I don’t know. You’re throwing me in the fire here, but that’s a challenge that … I never backed down from anybody, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com