De La Hoya on fighting Canelo: ‘I’ve fought way better than that’

By Boxing News - 07/28/2021 - Comments

By Matt Lieberman: Oscar De La Hoya says he’s not worried about Canelo Alvarez’s punching power because he’s fought “way better” opposition than that during his career.

The ‘Golden Boy’ De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) hopes to parlay a win over former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on September 11th to get a big mega-fight against Canelo.

De La Hoya, 48, is coming out of his thirteen-year retirement to face Belfort in the main event on Triller Fight Club pay-per-view in an eight-round fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

On Tuesday, De La Hoya and the 44-year-old Befort met for their kickoff press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their fight in less than two months from now.

Oscar looks trimmer and well on his way to cut down to the 180s for the fight. De La Hoya cannot afford a loss to Belfort because it would ruin his chances of fighting with the superstar Canelo.

De La Hoya talks Canelo fight

“I mean, look, in the scope of things, maybe it can, but why not?” said De La Hoya to Fighthub about him and Canelo Alvarez fighting.

Image: De La Hoya on fighting Canelo: 'I've fought way better than that'

“Okay, he’s the best out there. I’ve fought the best. I’ve actually fought way better than that [Canelo].

“Yeah, he’s the best now today, but yesterday the best was a lot better, and I’ve fought everybody. The fact that something can lead up to me and Canelo, why not?

“If people want to see me knocked out, tune in. If you think I can beat him, tune in.

“I’ve never been in a boring fight. I’ve never dodged anybody, and I’ve never been in there and only threw three punches per round.

I’ve always been exciting, and if you want to see boring and if you want to see exciting, you choose. That’s basically it,” said De La Hoya in sounding like he’s comparing himself to Canelo.

“Why not?” said De La Hoya when asked Canelo is on the radar. “It’s only power. Power, I can withstand. Speed like Pacquiao is a whole different story. Power, I have a good chin.”

De La Hoya is too old to be taken seriously by fans as a potential opponent for Canelo. The fans see De La Hoya as a snake oil salesman, trying to convince the public to purchase fights against Belfort and possibly Canelo.

If the Canelo fight does happen, De La Hoya will up the creek without a paddle. Even in his prime, De La Hoya would have had massive problems with Canelo’s counter-punching ability and power.

There are certainly some great fighters during De La Hoya’s era, but Canelo would have beaten basically all of them other than maybe Bernard Hopkins.

There were guys that De La Hoya never tangled with, like Gerald McClellan, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, James Toney, Roy Jones Jr, and Julian Jackson, that would have given Canelo massive problems.

Oscar on a 3-fight mission

“It’s love for the sport, basically,” said De La Hoya when asked why he’s returning to the ring.

Image: De La Hoya on fighting Canelo: 'I've fought way better than that'

“I loved what I did, and I love what I’m doing now.  I don’t think anybody out there can understand it.

“There might be one fighter out there that can understand it, and his name is Mike Tyson.

“I just believe I need to do this for myself. I want to prove that I can do it for myself and not for anybody else but myself.

“I don’t know what that exact feeling is going to be like until I step into the ring on September 11th.

As long as my body feels like doing it, and as long as my mind is capable,” said De La Hoya about what the endgame is for him in his comeback.

“I’ve been one to fight the best, and maybe the endgame is to fight the best. Whoever the best is there at that particular time.

“My plan has always been to do three fights. Mentally and physically, I’m going to be prepared as possible to get to those three fights,” said De La Hoya.

The second fight that De La Hoya wants after Belfort is against 47-year-old former UFC champion Anderson Silva. It’s self-explanatory for why De La Hoya is looking to fight Silva.

He wants to take advantage of the huge fanbase that Silva still has with the MMA fans. Also, it’s a fight that De La Hoya can probably win due to his supreme boxing knowledge.

When you’ve performed at the level the former five-division world champion De La Hoya has, you don’t forget how to fight. Oscar’s skills will be too much for Silva and Belfort to deal with.

As long as De La Hoya doesn’t get clipped with anything, he easily beats both of those guys.

He recently beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr by an eight round decision in a boxing match last June in Mexico. For an old MMA guy, Silva didn’t look half bad, but he absolutely dreadful as a boxer.

His fight with Chavez Jr could have gone the other way, as Julio landed the much harder punches in each round.

De La Hoya explains why he chose 2-minute rounds

“We thought to have an advantage for both of us,” said De La Hoya on why they chose to fight eight two-minute rounds. “I refuse to fight with pillows, and that’s why we didn’t make this an exhibition.

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“Eight rounds of two minutes would be perfect for each other, really because we can fight fast and fight hard. I think it’s more intense than normal.

“It’s a fight; strength isn’t going to matter,” said De La Hoya. “I’ve been in with heavy punchers, and strength never matters. Is it a concern?

“To everyone else but not to me,” De La Hoya about Belfort’s size and strength. “I don’t care one bit.

“I’m going to make sure I’m in great shape, and my reflexes are there, and my punching power is there.

“I’ve never fought at 180. It’s going to be a new experience; it’s going to feel different.

Hey, I have a chin; I can take a punch. So let’s just go. That’s why it’s going to be a good fight,” said De La Hoya.

We don’t know if De La Hoya’s punch resistance is still the same as it once was years ago, but we’re going to find out on September 11th.

It’s a good idea for De La Hoya to have chosen to fight 2-minute rounds instead of 3 because there’s less chance that he’ll gas out and look bad in front of the fans.