At age 48, “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya is ready to return to the sport of boxing when he battles former UFC star Vitor Belfort on September 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Triller PPV.
The fight was initially supposed to be an exhibition fight, but unlike Mike Tyson-Roy Jones, this is a sanctioned bout.
“These exhibitions that we’re seeing are becoming a circus; I want no part of that,” De La Hoya said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “And that’s why this fight is a real, sanctioned fight and not an exhibition. Everybody who knows me, I’ve never been in a boring fight. I go out there and fight. An exhibition isn’t us; Vitor and I have too much at stake. When I see Belfort, I can see in his eyes how proud he is of his legacy, and I feel the same way too, and I respect that.”
De La Hoya last fought in 2008 when he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao. That was a one-sided affair, and it was 13 years ago, but to De La Hoya’s credit, he’s never run away from a challenge in his career, which he discussed on Tuesday.
“I’ve been in top challenges all my life; I’ve basically been fighting since I was five years old,” he said. “I’ve had every challenge in the book, and I’ve fought the very best, from Pacquiao to Mayweather to Hopkins to Julio Cesar Chavez. I wanted a different challenge, and that’s what Vitor Belfort presents. A challenge that’s going to take my training and my mentality to a whole new level.”
If De La Hoya’s comeback is real, he should have no issue with the 44-year-old Belfort. However, 48 is 48, and De La Hoya has been out of the ring and inactive for a long time, so who knows what will happen at Staples Center on September 11.
Here’s for sure, if De La Hoya looks good against Belfort, maybe a fight with the man he once promoted and one the pound-for-pound best in Canelo Alvarez could be in his future.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but a fight against Canelo is big if it does happen.
Photo: Chris Farina – Triller Fight CluB