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Oscar De La Hoya: I can do some DAMAGE at 154

Oscar De La Hoya

By Chris Williams: Oscar De La Hoya hasn’t given up on his dream of returning to the ring after 12 years of retirement to face a big name at 154. The 47-year-old De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) posted on social media last Friday night that he can do “some damage” at 154 in his comeback.

If De La Hoya can come back for one or two fights, he would get enough money to help pump into his promotional company Golden Boy to keep them competitive with the other promoters. That’s not a long term solution for Golden Boy to stay relevant, however. You can’t have De La Hoya coming back in his 60s and 70s, still looking to fight.

De La Hoya talked about making a comeback five years ago to face Gennady Golovkin, but he changed his mind after speaking to his family about it. Chris Williams suspects we’ll see the same thing with this latest comeback talk.

De La Hoya hasn’t given his rationale for wanting to come out of retirement. Oscar hadn’t fought since 2008 when Manny Pacquiao sent him skittering into retirement after thrashing him and forcing a stoppage in the 8th round. De La Hoya-Pacquiao was a non-title fight that the much bigger De La Hoya was supposed to win.

Oscar De La Hoya

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach realized that De La Hoya wasn’t the same fighter he once was, saying, he can no longer “pull the trigger” on his punches.

Is De La Hoya serious?

At that time, De La Hoya still had a little bit left in the tank if he’d been fighting in the 160 or 154-pound divisions, which is where he should have been. It was De La Hoya’s mistake to agree to fight Pacquiao at 147

It’s unclear whether De La Hoya was feeling merry from a night out with friends or if he believes in what he says. The 154-pound division is lacking entirely of stars, and there’s no money to be made for De La Hoya in that weight class.

Perhaps he intends to face a welterweight at 154 and look to make a mountain of money from that fight. You can argue that De La Hoya should have made this move five to ten years ago to return to the ring rather than choosing this time.

When Oscar was in his 40s, he still looked young and could pass for someone in his 30s. Sadly, the years have been cruel to De La Hoya. He now looks like a person in their mid-50s instead of his chronological age of 47.

The former six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya isn’t the only old-timer talking about wanting to return to the ring. These fighters have all mentioned wanting to stage a comeback:

  • Riddick Bown
  • Shannon Briggs
  • Mike Tyson
  • Evander Holyfield

With boxing being in the lockdown due to the pandemic, it opens the door for the older fighters, who can step in and take advantage of the absence of fights by doing exhibition matches.

De La Hoya wants to face a 147-pounder at 154

With De La Hoya stating that he can “do some damage” at 154, what he’s leaving out is the fact that he wants to pull a 147-pounder up in weight to face him. In other words, De La Hoya isn’t interested in meeting a junior middleweight [154].

Oscar said in an interview recently that he plans to fight a top welterweight at 154.  While De La Hoya didn’t name which 147-pounder he’s interested in fighting, it’s painfully apparent that he wants a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. That’s a fight that De La Hoya could make a lot of money taking, as there would be a lot of casual boxing fans that would get excited about it.

Recently, there’s been a ton of interest about Pacquiao potentially moving up to 160 to take on IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin. Roach told DAZN that he wants Pacquiao to face little 5’6″ Mikey Garcia, who has looked substandard since moving up to 147. However.

Is Oscar taking advantage of an interest in Pacquiao-GGG?

Roach added that he thinks Pacquiao would want to dare to be great by taking on GGG (40-1-1, 35 KOs). Ever since Roach made that comment, there’s been a ton of discussion from boxing fans in a potential Pacquiao-Golovkin fight.

So it’s possible that De La Hoya saw the enthusiasm fans have in a Pacquiao vs. GGG fight, and he figured that he could jump in on the action.

In Golovkin’s case, he’s probably not going to bother facing Pacquiao because it doesn’t fit his schedule. GGG wants to meet his IBF mandatory Kamil Szeremeta next, and then battle Canelo Alvarez in a trilogy match in May 2021.

The name recognition that guys like De La Hoya, Tyson, Holyfield, and Briggs have going for them enables these fighters to bring in pay-per-view potentially buys from boxing fans, who are starved for seeing fights.

De La Hoya is known by the older boxing fans, who remember ‘The Golden Boy’ from days of winning an Olympic gold medal for the U.S in 1992 and capturing six-division world titles. Oscar was an incredible fighter before he started slacking off due to fame in the last five years of his career.

Oscar was great at 135

When De La Hoya fought at lightweight from 1992 to 1995, he was knocking everybody out, and one of the best fighters that ever competed in that division. Ryan Garcia, the new star with Golden Boy, was nowhere near the level De La Hoya was at when he fought at 135.

De La Hoya obliterated his opposition in that weight class. Had Oscar stayed at 135 his entire career, he would have been a legend. He couldn’t keep his weight that low, and he eventually moved up to 140, 147, 154, and 160, capturing division world titles along the way.

Although Top Rank has been putting on events on ESPN+ for the last month, these have primarily been one-sided contests involving their B-players in their promotional company.

We haven’t seen Top Rank’s gems like Terence Crawford, Tyson Fury, or Vasily Lomachenko during the pandemic. These shows have been like rubber-necking as you go by a car crash on the freeway. One’s reaction is, ‘What was that?’

 

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