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De La Hoya considering coming out of retirement: Who should he fight?

Oscar De La Hoya

By Jim Maltzman: Moments ago, Oscar De La Hoya dropped a bombshell in revealing that he’s contemplating ending his 12-year retirement to face a “TOP” 147-pound fighter. De La Hoya, 147, says he’s not kidding around in thinking about returning to the ring. The highly successful “Golden Boy” wants a big fight, and he believes he can beat anyone.

Oscar will come back at 154, but NOT against a junior middleweight. He wants a top welterweight, which is a big hint that he’ll try and get Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. The 154-pound division is barren of famous fighters. There are some talented guys like Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario, but they’re not pay-per-view fighters.

De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao would be huge

If De La Hoya comes out of retirement now, he’d be catching the 41-year-old Pacquiao at the right moment. The 41-year-old WBA welterweight champion Manny (62-7-2, 39 KOs) still doesn’t have an opponent yet, and he would surely agree to face De La Hoya in a rematch.

De La Hoya ended his career with an eighth-round stoppage loss to Pacquiao in 2008, and he would have the opportunity to get revenge after all these years. Pacquiao is now up in there in age as well, but he’s still fighting at a high level.

De La Hoya told RingTV that he wants to check out the way Mike Tyson looks in his exhibition fight, and then he’ll make his decision from there. The former IBF/WBA/WBC Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) is six years older than De La Hoya at 53, and his hand speed and power is like that of a fighter in their early 30s.

We’ve already seen how incredible Tyson has looked in the video clips of his workouts that he’s posted on his Instagram site. Tyson didn’t just start working out. He’s been training for a while now, and De La Hoya shouldn’t compare himself to Iron Mike.

Boxing fans want to know why the former six-division world champion De La Hoya is thinking of coming back now after all these years. If it’s for financial reasons, then De La Hoya is in an excellent position to lure Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao back into the ring to face him.

De La Hoya has history wth both guys, having lost to them over a decade ago. Of the two, De La Hoya’s razor-thin 12 round decision defeat to Mayweather in 2007 has stuck in his craw, making it hard for him to forget.


Oscar De La Hoya

De La Hoya has been training

That was a fight De La Hoya was winning through the first half of the contest, but he ran out of energy in the second half. De La Hoya abandoned his jab and in the seventh, and started swinging away. Floyd was then able to take advantage of De La Hoya’s aggression by counting him continually to take over the fight.

Oscar (39-6, 30 KOs) has had time to think, and he feels that he retired prematurely after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2008. In that fight, De La Hoya was fighting on fumes in the afterglow of having stripped a lot of weight off to meet the smaller fighter Pacquiao at 145 pounds for their catchweight match. In hindsight, De La Hoya should have used his A-sided popularity to get Pacquiao to meet him at 154, a fight that Oscar would have been more comfortable at.

“I want to see what Tyson does first,” De La Hoya said to Ring TV. “I have been working out, I have been training, I have been staying in shape. Obviously, I’m not in fighting shape, yet, to go 12 rounds, but I’m sure I can get there.

“We’ll see. I want to see Tyson perform. [I want to] see how his reflexes are, see if he can go past three, four rounds. Then I’ll make my decision.”

De La Hoya shouldn’t have waited so long before making a comeback because he was still young when he retired at 35 in 2008.  He made a hasty decision, letting his performance against the blazing-fast Pacquiao cloud his mind and hurting his self-belief. The reason De La Hoya lost that fight to Manny is due to the weight. Oscar took off too much weight to make the 145-lb limit for a division that he hadn’t fought in for seven years.

Before the Pacquiao fight, the last time De La Hoya competed at 147 was in 2001 for his match against Arturo Gatti in 2001.  He didn’t even fight at the full 147lb limit. It was at 145, which made it all the harder for him.

Who will it be for Oscar?

De La Hoya must choose wisely for his comeback fight because it might be the only fight he gets before retiring again. If Oscar loses badly against just a regular Joe, that won’t increase his bank account funds. That’s why he needs to pick the best option possible to make good money.

At 147,  De La Hoya can fight Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, and possibly Mayweather if he resumes his career. Those are the best options for De La Hoya if he wants a famous fighter.

Pacquiao is the last of the superstar welterweight in the division, as Mayweather already retired. Spence, Crawford, and Thurman haven’t been able to increase their popularity to the level that Pacquiao and Mayweather enjoyed.

If De La Hoys and Tyson are successful with his comeback, you can expect a lot of other older fighters in their 40s and 50s to resume their careers.  Fans would love to see these fighters come out of retirement:

  • Ricky Hatton
  • Kostya Tszyu
  • Joe Calzaghe
  • Roy Jones Jr
  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Vitali Klitschko
  • Julian Jackson

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