LOS ANGELES — After kickstarting an adamant campaign to fight the superstar he long-promoted, Oscar De La Hoya now has a change of heart on facing Canelo Alvarez as he begins his boxing comeback tour at the age of 48.
“I changed my mind,” De La Hoya told reporters before a media workout promoting his Sept. 11 fight against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort at Staples Center on Triller and FITE pay per view.
“Not because of anything or because he'll knock me out. It's just that I thought it over and I would actually rather I do two of these, and Vitor doesn't knock me out, maybe do another one by December and again on Cinco De Mayo. I don't have any hesitation to call out Floyd [Mayweather] or [Felix] Trinidad]. We have unfinished business. That rematch never happened. That would be pretty cool. It just depends on how I look and how I feel. I feel amazing right now. You'll see my speed and power, my footwork, it's all there. We'll see how I do against a heavyweight. I have my hands full. But hey, let's go.”
In July, De La Hoya was interested in fighting the four-division champion Alvarez, who is 17 years younger than him.
“Why not? Why not? It’s only power,” De La Hoya said at the time in regard to Alvarez. “That’s all it is. Power I can withstand. Speed, like Pacquiao, is a whole different story. Power, power – I have a good chin. You know?”
De La Hoya then doubled down on a potential fight with Alvarez soon after on Mike Tyson’s podcast.
“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.
In June, promoter Leonard Ellerbe nixed the idea of a bout between Mayweather and De La Hoya.
Earlier this week, Trinidad said he’s not much interested in a rematch either.
“I wish De La Hoya the best. I've never had anything against him,” said Trinidad. “We fought because we had to have a winner and that is Tito Trinidad. I wish the best for him. Oscar knows that this is not easy, but may he have the success of the world on his return."
Trinidad handed De La Hoya his first career loss in 1999 in a razor-thin majority decision. Mayweather scored a split decision of De La Hoya in 2007.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com