Oscar De La Hoya's Comeback

Bad Idea.

Jim Rome
August 20, 2020 - 11:01 am
Oscar De La Hoya

Getty Images


Hey! Here’s some truly incredible news! Oscar De La Hoya is coming out of retirement! Hell yes! You know what that means? Someone finally invented a time machine. They got the thing to work.

We did it! We did it! We finally freaking did it. What a great time to be alive. 

We’ve seen time machines in movies and TV shows for decades, but now we have the technology to actually make it work. Because there is no way that a 47 year old Oscar De La Hoya is going to start boxing again. No way that a guy who quit on his stool and was a completely shot fighter more than a decade ago, is making a return to the ring now.

He must have found a way to rip the time space continuum so that he can travel back 15 or 20 years and actually fight in a way that is meaningful to fans. That is awesome. Not just because I guess we can now go back to any time period in history, but in this case, Oscar being young and great and interesting again would be great. 

Because when he was good, he was tremendous. The gold medal at the Olympics, the junior lightweight title in his 12th pro fight, the world titles in six different weight classes. The Golden Boy was an icon. 

But as I read this article, there is no mention of time machines or Marty McFly or anything like that. So we’re not going to see The Golden Boy, we’re going to see The Rusted Boy. 

He told ESPN: "The rumors are true, and I'm going to start sparring in the next few weeks.”

Rumors? Is that what we’re calling them? Are they really rumors? Or fears? Concerns? Or just bullcrap.

Rumors implies that people are hoping for this and I’m pretty sure that’s the case. Are people really itching to throw down money to watch a 47-year old Oscar fighting more than a decade after his last fight?

When Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr announced their fight, I was really concerned. That was a bad look. And somehow this is even worse. Because in the case of Tyson and Jones, that’s just a couple of dudes looking to hook up for an exhibition. But that’s not what De La Hoya is pitching: De La Hoya apparently has looked at the fighting landscape and believes he’s good to fight best in class: to fight today’s top contenders.  Because according to De La Hoya, they’re know what it takes to be great: they’re not willing to play the price: just don’t know how to work and train like a world champion: but De La Hoya and figures that’s separation. Oh and that he really, really loves the sport:

"It's a real fight. I miss being in the ring, I love boxing. Boxing is what gave me everything I have today, and I just miss it."

Great. Just great. Not only is he coming back, but he’s actually going to fight. For who? For what? Against who?

Do you remember his last fight? It was against Manny Pacquiao in December 2008 and he quit on his stool in the 8th round. But Oscar has an explanation for that: "Look, my last fight with Pacquiao, I weighed in at 145 and obviously that was a shell of myself,"

Right, the problem there was that you weren’t the right weight. It had nothing to do with the fact that you were facing a younger, better fighter. It had nothing to do with the fact that you’d gone 3-4 in your last seven fights. It was all about the weight. And now, almost 12 years later, you’ll definitely be better. 

Thank goodness. I’m glad we got that figured out. 

Oh, and he has more: "Look, it's been a long time, yes. But actually my jab feels faster than ever. I have to make sure that my conditioning is perfect, my health is good. And that's going to take place in the next few weeks. So we'll see." 

Again, Oscar has forgotten more about the sweet science than I’ll never know. And no I haven’t seen him in the gym or working out in years: but that’s a straight lie. Look, I want to believe that we can all get better every single day. And maybe we can. But there’s not chance in hell his jab is better at 47 than it was at 35 when he was already a shot fighter. You really want us to believe you’re a better fighter at 47 after more than a decade out of the ring than you were in your prime: how? How is that possible? That is possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

And yet, he still had more. Oscar the promoter has thoughts on the current fighters: "All these fighters are not of the level that was 15, 20 years [ago], all these fighters are demanding so much money, all these fighters are demanding the moon. And they're forgetting that you must train hard, you must work hard. So that's a huge advantage for me because I know what it takes to train hard, I know how to train smart. I know how to fight smart in the ring. These guys are in it just for the money -- that'll be the big difference. I will fight for the glory, and these guys only fight for the money. And guess what? The glory will always win."

Holy crap. The glory will always win? Right now The Delusion is landing haymakers on The Glory. There’s your money quote right there: that De La Hoya isn’t in it for the money. As we know, whenever anyone says it’s not about the money, it’s about one thing: the money. And I love that he thinks his edge is in his willingness to work. And train. Great. Except all these guys you’re dogging Oscar have one edge over you: none of them is 47. And you’re old enough to be their father. C’mon with that. 

He thinks he’s going to step right in and fight a top fighter too, quote, “any top guy out there.”  At either 154 or 160.  Apparently, this includes Canelo Alvarez: (Canelo has to be like, wait, let me get this straight; I get to beat the hell out of some old man.  And you’re going to pay me to do so? Is Conor McGregor vs. The old the guy in the bar who wouldn’t drink his whisky on the undercard?? If the way no commission worth a damn is going to allow this a guy this old and a recovering substance abuser to fight a top contender: they don’t want that blood on their hands or a potential death on their record.

I don’t know what’s worse - Oscar needing the money or doing it because he has nothing better to do. Call it a tie for last. And I say that from a place of care and concern. I used to love the guy.

You’ve been out of the ring for more than a decade. Keep it that way. Don’t embarrass yourself and the rest of us with a comeback that nobody wants. Or suffer irreparable damage inside the ring that negatively affects the rest of your life. You’re a helluva lot better than that, Oscar. At least I thought you were.