Oscar De La Hoya on Father’s Day. Will we see the champ in the ring again? (Photo: Instagram)
By Vitali Shaposhnikov
The crowd effect, the motivation, the drive, the adrenaline that floods your body with unparalleled vigor, and the thousands of fans cheering for you when you emerge from below the arena, all are a champion’s addiction. Many retired champions make a comeback to the ring because its home, it’s something that endless sweat and dedication earned them.
For Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, the man that had a very exciting boxing career as well as a turbulent retirement, these feeling are no different.
“I’ve gotten everything taken care of, my rotator cuffs, my left hand, everything. I’m pain free. I just feel good and when I walk the streets, everyone tells me, ‘You have to fight Floyd again, you have to fight GGG. You can do it, you can do it,’” stated Oscar De La Hoya in a recent interview with ESPN.
“Would I do it? I don’t know but I wake up every morning thinking that I can,” continued De La Hoya.
The people on the streets, the voices that reach a fighter across various media outlets, all contribute to the accumulating effect of the desire to please the world, and once again be dubbed a champion.
Unfortunately we have seen many former champions fall to these emotions, only to realize too late that they should have stayed retired. Boxing is generally a young man’s sport, as every year a fighter gets older, additional risk is attached to any fight.
“It’s got to be worth my while but this is very serious. I have to make sure I am fighting the very best. I don’t have to come back for financial reasons or the lights or the glamour. The only reason I would come back is because I miss the competition of fighting the very best,” suggested De La Hoya.
He also goes on to implore that he is in the right shape to make such comments, and feels that he would be physically able to compete with the best:
“Right now I feel the best I have felt in my life physically, emotionally, mentally because I haven’t touched alcohol for I don’t know how long,” De La Hoya stated. “I’m training. I feel great. I’m not preparing for an actual fight, but I run 8 miles, I can hit the bag for 12 rounds, I can jump rope and do the speed bag. I do all that on a regular basis to stay in shape. I look great too. I’ve never seen myself look like this.”
With the way some of the current veteran boxers are performing, at 42 years of age De La Hoya may very well make a successful return to the ring, but only against the right opponent. Suggesting a bout against GGG or Mayweather is something that De La Hoya should probably use as a marketing tool and possibly motivation, only.
The danger is that Floyd might actually bait De La Hoya into coming back and facing him again with the hope of beating the anomaly that is Mayweather. The earning will be colossal, the crowd effect massive, and of course the possibility of a victory seeded deep.
Ring rust is no myth, and all it takes is one loss after such a long layoff to bury the entire plan of getting back to the top.
It would certainly be intriguing to see De La Hoya cross the ropes once again, if he does indeed feels as great as he suggests.
Vitali Shaposhnikov can be reached at email@example.com