By Chris Williams: Oscar De La Hoya made it known on Monday that he wants to fight Conor McGregor, but thus far he’s received no reaction from the UFC star. This is obviously not a good sign for De La Hoya’s comeback plans.
If this were Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaking up about wanting to fight McGregor in a rematch, it’s a guarantee that Conor would have said something by now. Mayweather-McGregor brought in huge money in their fight earlier this year on August 26 on PPV from Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor is chomping at the bit to get a rematch with Mayweather as soon as possible. McGregor isn’t showing the same interest in wanting to fight De La Hoya.
For De La Hoya, this isn’t the first time that he’s talked off wanting to make a comeback against a top level fighter. A couple of years ago, De La Hoya spoke of wanting to fight middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. De La Hoya kicked around the idea of fighting GGG until he was talked out of it by his family. De La Hoya was never a true middleweight during his career, and he would have had a lot of problems if he’d taken the fight with Golovkin.
De La Hoya, 44, says he’s secretly training for a comeback. If that’s the case, then he might need to set his sights on someone else besides McGregor if he wants to get someone to share the ring with him. There are other MMA fighters that De La Hoya can call out besides McGregor. It’s just that there won’t be much money fighting them compared to the big payday De La Hoya can make against the 29-year-old McGregor.
De La Hoya hasn’t fought since 2008, and he lost that fight to Manny Pacquiao by an 8th round knockout. De La Hoya retired after the defeat. Making a comeback now after all these years would seem to be a tad bit too late. De La Hoya’s fan base has obviously evaporated over the years, and the younger generations of boxing fans only know him as a promoter. If McGregor were to choose De La Hoya as his next opponent, it would likely be his fans that be choosing to pay to see the fight. De La Hoya unlikely would be able to bring in many fans from his side.
“I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training, secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever,” said De La Hoya to Golden Boy Radio. ”I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. 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.”
McGregor might have too much youth, energy and punching power for De La Hoya. There were some punches that McGregor landed on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first 3 rounds that would have given De La Hoya problems. De La Hoya doesn’t have Mayweather’s defensive skills, so he would likely take a lot of McGregor’s big shots in the early going. McGregor has a way of jumping on his opponents. De La Hoya might fall apart if McGregor were to unload on him in the early going. When you’ve been out of boxing for as long as De La Hoya, you’re not going to be able to return to anything close to what you were before.
This would be a boxing match if McGregor chose to fight De La Hoya. The Golden Boy Promotions CEO has no interest in fighting McGregor or any other fighter in the octagon.
McGregor plans on resuming his career in the UFC. He hasn’t fought since last year in November in the UFC, and he needs to get back in the octagon if he wants to keep his titles, and continue to be a popular fighter in that sport.
De La Hoya reportedly will be making a comeback to boxing whether he gets the fight with McGregor or not. He wants to continue his career.
”He’s in shape and I’m sure he has been thinking about it,” Golden Boy Promotions Eric Gomez said to ESPN.com about De La Hoya. “The itch is there, has been for a long time.”
De La Hoya has been training for 5 months now. He looks thinner than he was earlier this year, but he still has the appearance of an older person. De La Hoya doesn’t look like he’s young enough to get inside the ring with a fighter of McGregor’s caliber to start trading blows. Bernard Hopkins was still fighting at a high level when he was De La Hoya’s age, but he didn’t step away from boxing for 9 years. Hopkins stayed active with his boxing career all though his 40s. De La Hoya’s career slowed down starting in 2005. He didn’t fight in 2005, and fought only once in 2006, 2007 and then twice in 2008.
Here are De La Hoya’s last 4 fights:
• Ricardo Mayorga – 2006
• Floyd Mayweather Jr. – 2007
• Steve Forbes – 2008
• Manny Pacquiao – 2008
“I’ve been working out for the last five months. [My confidence] is how I feel now from my training. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll tell you now that I’ve never felt so good before in my life,” said De La Hoya.
If De La Hoya’s main goal is to try and get a big payday, then he’ll probably need to focus on fighting one of the UFC fighters. McGregor is obviously the best option for De La Hoya, but he likely won’t agree to take the fight. McGregor is waiting to see if Mayweather will fight him again. He’s not going to take a fight with De La Hoya and risk losing a much bigger payday against Floyd.
If De La Hoya can’t get McGregor to fight him, he might want to give UFC star Nate Diaz a try. Diaz has training in boxing, and he’s been involved in 2 huge PPV fights in the past against Conor. Diaz’s first fight against McGregor at UFC 196 brought in 1,317,000 PPV buys. In the McGregor-Diaz rematch at UFC202, the fight pulled in 1,650,000 PPV buys. Diaz is a popular fighter, and he might be able to pull in a lot of his MMA fans in a fight with De La Hoya.