Earlier this year, boxing’s former Pay-per-view king, Oscar De La Hoya, caused something of a storm when he suggested that he was considering a return to the ring.
In June, the “Golden Boy” told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that he was strongly considering a comeback. “It’s got to be worth my while but this is very serious”, said De La Hoya. The 42-year-old wasn’t just talking about a nostalgia tour style effort either. He stressed that he would only step back between the ropes to take on the highest quality of opposition.
“The only reason I would come back is because I miss the competition of fighting the very best.”
His assertions even sparked conversation regarding a return bout between he and then pound-for-pound ruler Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It wasn’t long, though, before the former multiple-weight world champion took a backward step. After some time spent soul-searching and speaking with his loved ones, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions decided that he would remain retired.
Some recent statements from Oscar, however, suggest that he may have been a lot further along the comeback trail than he was leading the boxing media to believe.
“I actually was going to come back, and I did start training, and I even sparred ten rounds”, said De La Hoya, according to BoxingScene.
Even more interesting was Oscar’s revelation of some additional factors that led to his decision to stay on the periphery.
“Look, the body can’t take it anymore. After sparring ten rounds, running a few miles, the next day I literally couldn’t get out of bed. It’s a tough sport. It requires a lot from you physically. At the age of 42, I just couldn’t take it anymore”
The sparring in particular seemed to take it’s toll on the Mexican-American great, as he explained that even shots from lightweights were giving him problems.
“It was a wake up call, because when I was sparring those ten rounds, I was sparring ten rounds with lightweights, and I’m a middleweight. When I was getting hit by those lightweights, that was a reality check for me. This is a young man’s sport. This is a dangerous sport.”
It seems Oscar made this decision with his head, and not his massive fighting heart.