Martin’s Musings: Should De La Hoya make a comeback?
- Updated: June 24, 2015
For years Oscar De La Hoya has claimed to have that “itch” to come back. It’s something that all retired fighters get. De La Hoya appears to be taking things a step further.
The former six-division world champion says there is a “50-50” chance that we see The Golden Boy make a return to the ring.
Is this really a good idea?
From a money standpoint it’s a no-brainer. De La Hoya could fight a garbage man and people would still tune in to watch. The man is the king of pay-per-view and it could potentially help to boost Golden Boy Promotions by putting the spotlight on some of his top young fighters.
But would a fight against any top 10 fighter be even remotely competitive?
De La Hoya cites Sugar Ray Leonard’s comeback from a three-year retirement in 1987 to fight Marvin Hagler for the middleweight world title. He says if Leonard can do it, why can’t he?
There are a few problems here.
Leonard was only 28 years old when he retired before coming back at the age of 31. De La Hoya is now 42 years old and it’s been six years since his last fight, a one-sided beatdown at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. Leonard did have a second comeback from retirement. That was also after being out of the ring for six years. He came back at the age of 40 only to get demolished by Hector Camacho. That situation sounds more likely to the one that De La Hoya would be faced with.
There’s also the question of his body’s physical condition. De La Hoya claims to be in great physical shape and healthier than he’s ever been, but it was only a few years ago that he was in rehab for issues with alcohol and drugs. No matter how long a man has been clean off of that stuff, a lasting damage is done to the body.
Let’s say Oscar is in the tremendous shape that he says he is. A six-year layoff is a six-year layoff. Super middleweight king Andre Ward was out for a year and a half and he made his return this past Saturday against a lower-level opponent in order to get back into the swing of things. There’s almost no chance for him to find success unless he comes back with a couple of tune-up fights to shake off all the cobwebs, but it doesn’t sound like De La Hoya is interested in that.
Apparently he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather or Gennady Golovkin if he comes back. These are the last two fighters he should be stepping into the ring with for his first fight back. You’re talking about the best pure boxer in the sport in Mayweather and a stone cold killer in Golovkin who possesses scary knockout power.
I grew up idolizing Oscar De La Hoya. As a young Mexican-American, it made me proud and gave me hope to see a fellow chicano have the success that he had. Part of me would like to see him come back and erase the lasting memory of him as a fighter retiring after the eighth round of his fight against Manny Pacquiao, but another part of me remembers all of the failed attempts from retired fighters looking for one last hurrah that never happens.
If De La Hoya were to come back, especially against the fighters he wants to come back against, I just don’t see how it can end well.