Is Oscar De La Hoya Bracing for a Comeback?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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History is replete with rumors about boxing legends returning to the ring.

There were rumors about the return of Marciano, Louis, Robinson, Ali, Leonard, Hagler, Holmes and Foreman just to name a few.  More recently, we've heard rumors about Mike Tyson and Prince Naseem Hamed lacing up the gloves again.  Some of those rumors proved to be true while others were just innuendo.

Heck, even Rocky Balboa retired and un-retired a few times.  

There's something endearing about the sport of boxing that summons great fighters to seek one last hurrah. Can you blame them?  The public has always been captivated, if not mesmerized, when a great boxer came back to regain this throne in an attempt to prove his superiority.

While money - or lack thereof - is often cited as the reason boxers return, comebacks in boxing transcend economics. Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali and Felix Trinidad were very wealthy when they made their comebacks.

But I digress...

Over the past few months the rumor mill has churned yet again. According to reports, a variety of respected people in the business say an Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) comeback is imminent. Some even say they heard plans for an a De La Hoya fight June 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO PPV.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. believes that six-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya will succumb to the lure of the four-squared jungle and embark on a comeback in the near future, in an announcement made by Oscar's former trainer to over the weekend.

Mayweather, 61, who trained De La Hoya for five years, is convinced the 38 year-old boxing legend (now a promoter) will fight again and Mayweather made no secret he wants to train Oscar again should that time come.

"I hear Oscar's talking about fighting again," explained Mayweather to Fighthype's Ben Thompson.

"If Oscar plans on fighting again, he better come see me. I'm going to be honest with you, I think Oscar will fight again.

"I think he will go one more time, if not more," he added.

De La Hoya has been out of the ring since his one-sided loss to Manny Pacquiao in December 2008 but has been linked with a bout against Ricky Hatton in the past.  The Golden Boy himself coming out of retirement to fight Marquez at welterweight would also be lucrative and generate public intrigue. De La Hoya versus almost anyone would sell.

Although the former Olympic gold medallist has commented recently that he is happily retired, he stated on air that he seriously considered a comeback last year but relented after a few days of training. 

On May 22, reported that Oscar De La Hoya had entered a Californian rehabilitation clinic for unspecified treatment. The future hall-of-famer was quoted as saying, "After doing an honest evaluation of myself, I recognize that there are certain issues that I need to work on. Like everyone, I have my flaws, and I do not want to be one of those people that is afraid to admit and address those flaws...."

De La Hoya has defeated 17 world champions and has won 10 world titles in six different weight classes. He has also generated more money than any other boxer in the history of the sport - an estimated $696 million in pay-per-view income alone.

In 2001, Oscar De La Hoya founded Golden Boy Promotions, a combat sport promotional firm. He is the first American of Hispanic descent to own a national boxing promotional firm and was one of the few boxers to take on promotional responsibilities while still active.


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