De La Hoya On Comeback “If I Get Knocked Out I Get Knocked Out”
The promotional portion of Oscar De La Hoya’s return to the ring in September has started and while the Hall of Famer is confident that he will be successful, he also is realistic about what could be the ultimate outcome of his first fight in over a decade.
De La Hoya met with the media Tuesday afternoon to help launch the Triller “Fight Club” promotion and ticket sales of his September 11th ring return to face former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort. And Oscar made one part clear,
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“I will never disrespect the fighter (Belfort) I have in front of me,” De La Hoya said to the media assembled. “Never have…all my life. No matter who it was. You never know. You get knocked out. You lose, whatever. Plans change, so, do I have a long term plan- a short term plan? Yes, it’s nice to prepare, but it’s never nice to disrespect….
“I’m gonna do what I have to do to take myself to that next one….to the next level. And, to continue to face the toughest challenges… Yes, do I want to fight Floyd (Mayweather) again? Absolutely.
Would I want to fight Canelo? Why not?! If I get knocked out, I get knocked out. At least, it was a fun fight.”
As we wrote previously, De La Hoya has been contemplating some version of a comeback since last Summer. This despite having not fought, exhibition or otherwise, since Manny Pacquiao defeated him in 2008.
De La Hoya made an abrupt announcement of his in-ring return during the Triller press conference to promoting their April Pay-Per-View headlined by actor/Youtuber Jake Paul and former MMA fighter, Ben Askren. De La Hoya said at that time, simply, “July 3rd, I’m making my comeback.” Then, he literally dropped the microphone and walked off the stage.
Obviously, the fight was delayed and eventually set for September. There had been talk that Triller would put the delayed Undisputed Lightweight title fight with Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos on the September 11th with De La Hoya’s return. However, that is not going to be the case.
Triller and De La Hoya have also petitioned the California boxing commission to sanction the fight with Belfort not as an exhibition, but as a real bout that will count against both of their professional records and have official judges, etc.
As for Belfort, he’s a 44 year old MMA fighter. He previously won the UFC Light Heavyweight title, but hasn’t been in any type of cage-fight, etc., since May of 2018. Belfort, who is Brazilian, does have a brief amateur background as a boxer in his teenage years. He also fought one time with a first round KO in a pro boxing match in Brazil in 2006.
Clearly, De La Hoya is counting on his name and the memories of his great nights in the ring to help sell his return. What he can’t count on, is if the younger Belfort is ready for him and hits him with the big shot that could end his comeback plans, once and for all.