Oscar De La Hoya, a 10-time world title winner and former pay-per-view giant, has teased the idea of a possible return to the boxing ring. He has not stepped in the ring for a match since his last bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2008, but the Golden Boy says he has been staying in shape and he is not ruling out a possible return. And if he does come back, he may already have his eyes set on Conor McGregor.
“You know I’m competitive,” De La Hoya said Monday, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael. “I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training, secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever.”
It is not all that surprising that a world championship athlete as special as De La Hoya would find ways to stay in shape in his retirement. He formally announced his retirement in 2009, thus bringing an end to any talk about a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. But it would seem De La Hoya saw the box office returns of Mayweather/McGregor, and the prospect of a giant payday has Oscar thinking things over. How would De La Hoya perform against McGregor in a boxing ring? Let’s just say De La Hoya is pretty confident.
“I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight,” De La Hoya said. “Two rounds. Just one more [fight]. I’m calling him out. Two rounds, that’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say. You heard it on Golden Boy Radio. Two rounds, that’s all I need.”
This almost seems like a page straight out of the McGregor playbook. In the ongoing buildup to the Mayweather-McGregor fight earlier this year, McGregor said time and time again he was going to knock Mayweather out in four rounds. Mark his words.
De La Hoya may just be taking off the cuff with no serious intent to actually come back for a big fight. At age 44 and just a few months away from 45 and after being away from a competitive ring for a decade, coming back now to take on McGregor would be quite a challenge, especially since McGregor just showed he could hang tougher than many expected against the 40-year old Mayweather.
But the curious thing here is just how quickly it seems McGregor has become the ire of the boxing world. His long-awaited bout with Mayweather introduced McGregor to the boxing world, and he certainly left quite the impression of trash-talking and a lack of humility. That works in boxing promotions of course, and the box office numbers prove he helps add fire to the bout. Would the same box office numbers pour in for a potential De La Hoya vs. McGregor fight? That would be tough to match, but if there’s a healthy paycheck involved for both fighters, you can never say never.