Oscar De La Hoya is tired of just talking the talk.
The Olympic gold medalist and former world champion boxer-turned promoter announced on Wednesday his intent to return to the ring. The 47-year-old has not boxed competitively since 2008 when he retired following a loss to Manny Pacquiao at 36 years old.
“The rumors are true, and I'm going to start sparring in the next few weeks," De La Hoya told ESPN.
Who will he fight? That remains unknown. But De La Hoya said that the fight will not be an exhibition like Mike Tyson’s planned fight against Roy Jones Jr. This one will be for the record.
“It's a real fight,” De La Hoya said. “I miss being in the ring, I love boxing. Boxing is what gave me everything I have today, and I just miss it.”
‘Any top guy’
He said that he’ll take on “any top guy” and fight at super welterweight or middleweight (154-160 pounds). That puts him in a class with Gennadiy Golovkin and client Canelo Alvarez. He’ll certainly have to set his sights a little lower.
De La Hoya’s legacy
De La Hoya has spent his time in retirement running Golden Boy Promotions. He’s also battled drug and alcohol addiction and done his sparring verbally with UFC president Dana White. Getting back in boxing shape in his late 40s will be no simple task.
De La Hoya made his name with a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at 19 years old. He went on to a prolific professional career, winning 10 world championships across six weight classes while compiling a 39-6 record with 30 KOs. He won his first 31 professional fights.
He remains one of the biggest names in the sport and would undoubtedly be a draw in his return.
“Look, it's been a long time, yes,” De La Hoya said. “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.”
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