Should Oscar De La Hoya come back?
By Matt Lieberman: The ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) wants to come out of retirement, and he’s already preparing for a possible fight in late 2020 or early 2021. De La Hoya, 47, wants a “top” guy at 147, who he’ll bring up to 154 or 160 to fight.
The idea behind De La Hoya bringing the fighter up to 154 or 160 is so that he’s not weight drained. Oscar would have a hard time in losing enough weight to make 147 at this point in his life.
Assuming that the money is De La Hoya’s chief reason for making a comeback, he needs to focus on either retired guys or fighters from the UFC. In other words, De La Hoya can take a page out of Floyd Mayweather’s playbook.
There would be a tremendous amount of interest if De La Hoya set up a fight against Conor McGregor. That would be a genuinely 50-50 fight at this point. De La Hoya has the experience and the ring IQ to dominate the 31-year-old McGregor, but he lacks youth and the health that he has going for him.
To make money, De La Hoya should focus on winnable fights against McGregor-type of fighters. Another reasonable avenue for De La Hoya would be for him to face retired stars like Ricky Hatton or Kostya Tszyu. Those would be exciting fights for De La Hoya, and a lot of boxing fans would like to see those match-ups.
If De La Hoya insists on fighting an active welterweight, then he should face Amir Khan. This is a semi-retired fighter, who rarely fights nowadays, and has punch resistance problems.
Although Khan hasn’t retired yet, his career was arguably over in 2012. People would love to see De La Hoya and Khan fight, and they wouldn’t blame Oscar for picking him. A rematch with Manny Pacquiao would be a good money-earner for De La Hoya, but it wouldn’t be a winnable fight for him.
De La Hoya could fight soon
“Add Oscar De La Hoya to the list of great fighters considering a comeback,” said Chris Mannix of DAZN. “Oscar De La Hoya told CBS LA that he’s currently in training, and he could fight at the end of this year or early next year. Do you want to see Oscar De La Hoya back in the ring?”
“Anybody, anybody who is the best out there. I still have that mentality,” said De La Hoya to Ring TV. “It would be at 160. If it’s at 154, maybe someone coming up from 147. Any top, top, top guy at 147. It doesn’t really matter.”
Oscar is saying he wants to make a comeback startled a lot of boxing fans, who generally see him as an aging promoter and not as a fighter.
In De La Hoya’s recent interview two weeks ago with The Ring, he looked puffy, out of shape, and not someone you could picture fighting a top welterweight.
De La Hoya fighting a top 147-pounder would be a terrible idea, and nothing good can come of it.
What does De La Hoya gain in returning to the ring?
“No, I don’t want to see the ‘Golden Boy’ [De La Hoya] back in the ring,” said Sergio Mora o DAZN. “He’s a successful promoter, a six-division world champion, and 96 [Olympic] gold medalist.
“What does he have to fight for? Pride? He has that itch. That’s how fighters get hurt. We know how his last fight ended in 2008 with Manny Pacquiao. It ended with him [De La Hoya] retiring on his stool. We don’t want it to get any worse for De La Hoya.
“Legends die hard, and he’s a legend. He needs to stay out of the ring, but if he does come back, I’d like to see him against two fighters—a former champion named Sergio Martinez, who is making a comeback or another Sergio. Yours truly,” said Mora.
For starters, De La Hoya can make a lot of money with a comeback if he’s smart, and if he chooses wisely. That money Oscar makes, he could use it to help Golden Boy stay competitive with the other promoters like Top Rank and Matchroom.
If De La Hoya is dealing with a mid-life crisis, then returning to the ring is understandable in that contest. It won’t solve anything, though. De La Hoya is still rapidly heading towards 50, and he’s not a particularly youthful-looking at 47.
The money that De La Hoya can make from a series of fights would rival some of the paydays he made during his career. It’s going to be difficult for Oscar to stay around for two or three matches because he says he wants to take on a top welterweight. At this point, if De La Hoya fights anyone in the top 15 from the 147-lb division, he’ll lose.
Even a bottom 100 welterweight would have a high chance of beating De La Hoya right.
Oscar should focus on being a promoter
“The forty-something senior’s circuit of boxing, featuring two Sergios and Oscar? A hard pass on that one,” said Mannix. “I don’t want to see Oscar De La Hoya back in the mix. He should be done.
“Frankly, I think he should focus on what he’s still trying to developing at, and that’s being a big-time promoter. Oscar De La Hoya needs to be out there a lot more than he is. Not just on social media but on regular media.
“He only infrequently pops up on some kind of long-form interviews. You see him primarily at press conferences. He needs to be as involved in promoting his fighters as Bob Arum is, as Eddie Hearn is, and some of these other top-level promoters are.
“Right now, the only time you hear about Oscar De Hoya and his fighters is when you read about him is when he disagrees with them or is at odds with them. Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia [are examples of fighters De La Hoya being at odds with].
“He has to lock in at being a promoter. Some people say it might be fun to see Canelo and Oscar settle their differences in the ring. I’m not one of them. I want to see Oscar better at being a promoter, and not focused on fighting,” said Mannix.
It would be a good idea for De La Hoya to take a more active role with his promotional company, the way that Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Arum are both doing. Hearn seems to be burning the candle at both ends with the massive amount of time he’s investing in building Matchroom’s brand.
The British promoter has set a high bar for De La Hoya to leap over if he wants to join him. It doesn’t appear that De La Hoya has the energy for that.
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