The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in 2017 was a huge box-office success. While some boxing purists didn’t approve, the overall audience loved it as evidenced by the more than four million pay-per-view buys and $600 million in revenue. Now there are reports swirling that former boxing champ and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya wants in on the action and is looking at a return to the ring against McGregor.
Oscar De La Hoya’s career as a fighter and promoter
The last time Oscar De La Hoya stepped into the ring to fight was December 2008 against Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao won convincingly as the fight was stopped in the eighth round.
That fight was the conclusion of one of the greatest careers in boxing history that all started back in 1992 when De La Hoya turned pro after winning gold in Barcelona. In his 16-year career, De La Hoya captured multiple world titles in six weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes. In 1997 and 1998, Ring Magazine named him the top pound-for-pound fighter. He is ranked as the 13th best all-time pound-for-pound boxer by BoxRec.
Outside of the ring, De La Hoya has been equally successful as a promoter. In addition to promoting his blockbuster fights against Mayweather and Pacquiao, De La Hoya has managed multiple boxing world champions including Canelo Álvarez and Amir Khan.
If there is a chance that De La Hoya returns to the ring against McGregor, past history suggest there’s no one better suited to promote such a fight than De La Hoya himself.
Other legendary fighters returning to the ring
A De La Hoya return to the ring would be just another name to add to the growing list of legendary boxers who have recently announced comebacks. Mike Tyson announced a return to the ring followed by a stunning video showing the “baddest man on the planet” still has some power in his punches.
Interestingly, Evander Holyfield suggested he was returning to the ring late in 2019 and recently followed it up with a post on Twitter that simply said, “COME BACK.”
As you might expect, when Holyfield’s tweet went live, boxing fans and many within the boxing community began to speculate that Tyson-Holyfield 3 might be in the offing. Tyson’s coach and three-time Brazilian Muay Thai world champion Rafael Cordeiro didn’t do anything to dispel the rumors and even admitted he would be interested in a third meeting between the two former heavyweight champs.
Oscar De La Hoya and Conor McGregor both talking about future fight
Oscar De La Hoya surprised many in the boxing community last week when he was interviewed on the CBS Sports’ State of Combat podcast. When asked about a hypothetical fight with McGregor, De La Hoya confidently answered.
“Oh come on, brother. Two rounds. One thing about me is I went for the kill, always. Look, Conor McGregor — I love him in the Octagon, I respect him, I watch him all the time. But the boxing ring is a whole different story.”
The Irish MMA superstar, never one to back down from a challenge, offered a succinct response on Twitter. “I accept your challenge, Oscar De La Hoya.”
In an interview with station KTLA over the weekend, when asked about McGregor’s reply, De La Hoya offered a more tempered response. “I can go maybe four rounds, but after four rounds he’ll probably take me out.”
At 47, De La Hoya obviously knows his body and its limitations. But he also knows a fight with McGregor could amount to a huge payday. Time will tell what De La Hoya values more—the health of his body or his bank account.