Oscar De La Hoya does not plan on futzing around in the kiddie pool for long.
The boxing icon and founder of Golden Boy Promotions made his boldest declaration to date for a comeback during an in-studio appearance on Mike Tyson’s podcast Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson. After a few warm-up exhibition bouts, De La Hoya says he has every intention of diving headlong into the deep end to face either a former ring rival or an aggrieved ex-promotional client.
“I wanna do two of these fights, and then guess what? I’m going to do a real fight, a 12-round fight, with either Floyd [Mayweather] or Canelo [Alvarez],” De La Hoya told Tyson.
De La Hoya has been in a resurgent mood of sorts as of late. He is returning to the boxing ring for the first time in 13 years in September to face former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on Triller. But that will be an exhibition bout, which typically means shorter rounds, bigger gloves, and an element of kayfabe. A fight against Alvarez or Mayweather, De La Hoya says, would be decidedly more serious. De La Hoya has hinted at fighting against either Mayweather or Alvarez in the past several months, but his comments on Wednesday suggested a new level of commitment.
Tyson, for one, was shocked and asked De La Hoya to look into the camera and repeat his claim.
“I wanna do in my third fight coming back, I’m either going to call out Floyd or Canelo,” De La Hoya said again.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) mentioned that his comeback attempt was inspired by Tyson’s exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. last October.
“First of all, Mike, you inspired me…Looking as good as you did against Roy, who’s a master, you inspired me,” said De La Hoya. “I said I want to do it, too. In the back of my head, my demons are telling me, ‘No, you gotta do it, motherfucker.”
Whatever the feasibility of those particular matchups, there are good reasons why De La Hoya named Mayweather and Canelo as potential opponents: there’s still plenty of bad blood between them, thus no shortage of intriguing storylines and, of course, moolah.
De La Hoya fought Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs), now retired, in 2007, in a blockbuster pay-per-view event that at the time was the most profitable match in boxing history. Mayweather won a split decision that catapulted him into superstardom. Mayweather most recently engaged YouTube star Logan Paul in an eight-round exhibition bout.
Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs), the current WBC, WBA, WBO 168-pound champion, was the kingpin of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotional stable until last year, when the two decided to part ways. The breakup was acrimonious, with Alvarez suing De La Hoya for breach of contract. Since then, the two have been jibing at each other on social media and in interviews. Alvarez is coming off a win over Billy Joe Saunders in May to unify three of the 168-pound belts.