By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya was very much serious when he announced that he wanted to return to the boxing ring several months ago. The former six-division world champion showed off his older but still shredded physique during a recent workout to promote his showdown against former UFC champion, Vitor Belfort.
The two are set to clash in just a few short weeks on September 11th, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. While De La Hoya has failed to step foot inside a ring since being handed a one-sided beating against Manny Pacquiao over a decade ago, the 48-year-old has expressed confidence in his current comeback.
Initially, De La Hoya had much more ambitious plans. Should he pick up the win against Belfort and another against a yet to be determined opponent, De La Hoya revealed that a showdown against pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez was on his agenda. Yet, after carefully considering his options, De La Hoya is now targeting a pair of former champions much closer to his age bracket.
“I changed my mind,” said De La Hoya to FightHype.com when asked if he still wanted to face Alvarez. “Not because he’ll knock me out. It’s just, I thought it over and I’d actually rather call out, after I do two [comeback fights], Floyd Mayweather or Felix Trinidad.”
De La Hoya, of course, has plenty of experience in facing both men. In 2007, De La Hoya took on Mayweather with his WBC 154 pound title on the line. Although De La Hoya had his moments, Mayweather proved to be far too elusive as he won a close split decision.
Eight years prior, a prime, undefeated De La Hoya attempted to unify his WBC 147 pound title with the IBF trinket of Trinidad. Early on, De La Hoya had little to no trouble dealing with the hard-hitting Hall of Famer. However, a deleterious shot from Trinidad zapped the confidence of De La Hoya during the latter rounds and forced him to box a much more cautious fight.
His reluctance to engage ultimately led to his defeat. Since then, De La Hoya has always looked back on his loss against Trinidad with regret, wishing he had done more in the later stages.
Now, if things go according to plan, it appears as though he’ll attempt to make things right against either Trinidad or Mayweather.