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
Former boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya will return to the ring to face former UFC Superstar Vitor Belfort in an exhibition bout on Saturday, September 11 in Las Vegas as part of the new TrillerVerz, the first-ever festival bringing together the power of Verzuz and Fight Club into one massive weekend festival, Triller announced on Thursday.
TrillerVerz is a partnership developed between Triller-owned Verzuz and Triller owned Fight Club bringing together the cultural phenomenon the two have created throughout the music and sports worlds.
“I am ready to return to the ring and I am proud to be part of Triller and Verzuz and their game-changing model of reimagining the boxing business as four-quadrant entertainment,” De La Hoya said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for a champion like Vitor Belfort as we show the world what high level boxing is all about.”
“It was incredibly important to me my comeback was on this date as it represents such an important moment in history for me, my fans and the words culture. This is much bigger than just me and this event, for all those with ties and or roots in and to Mexico.”
“It will be a pleasure to represent MMA again, this time in the ring against one of the biggest names in the history of boxing,” Belfort said. “It will be a war not to be missed and a fight my kids will be talking about. This is certain to make combat sports history.”
Known as ‘The Golden Boy’ the 48-year-old De La Hoya won 11 world titles in six weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes as well as being an Olympic gold medalist. He’s one of the best drawing boxers in the sport’s history and was named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 1995, and was its top-rated fighter in the world, pound for pound, in 1997 and 1998.
He announced his retirement as a fighter in 2009, following a professional career spanning 16 years.
Brazilian MMA fighter Belfort, 44, is known to fight fans as “The Phenom” for his explosive striking power that helped him secure the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship title and tie for third for the most finishes in UFC history. His fights became part of two of the biggest all-time best-selling UFC Pay-Per-View events in a successful career that includes fighting in UFC’s Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions, fighting for the Strikeforce, Pride and Affliction promotions and winning the Cage Rage championship.
The full festival lineup and details will be announced shortly accompanying the world class boxing card.
Former world champion Roy Jones Jr. (66-9, 47 KOs) has let it be known that he is willing to battle Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) in his return to the ring this summer on Triller.
The 48-year-old De La Hoya announced last week that he will return to the ring in July. No word if it’s a real fight or an exhibition.
“I spoke to Roy today, and he is feeling great and is willing to fight Oscar De La Hoya,” said Alfy Smith, Roy Jones Jr.’s trainer. “I know that they never got to fight based off weight classes before, but now would be the perfect time to give the fans a great fight that they’d thought they would get to see. De La Hoya has one of the greatest left hooks in boxing history; Roy has a devastating hook as well; we shall see who will be the real “Captain Hook.”
The 52-year-old Jones Jr. returned on November 28th against Mike Tyson in an exhibition bout, which did well on pay-per-view. The fight ended in a draw. Now, Jones Jr. wants another legend.
“The fans all over the world love Roy Jones Jr and Oscar De La Hoya,” continued Smith. “This is a great fight, an exciting matchup where you would only dream it up in a video game, now we have a chance to make it a reality. Roy is still active and training every day, he’s in tremendous shape, and his speed is still crisp.”
The weight difference would make this fight hard to put together, but I guess anything is possible.
Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, has issued the following statement in response to the International Boxing Federation’s decision to strip middleweight world champion, Canelo Alvarez.
“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title. We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s promoter. We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I’m now certain they never had any intention of making a deal. But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt. This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world. This decision validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship. Canelo inherited a mandatory challenger by defeating Daniel Jacobs, the man who beat Derevyanchenko, so to strip him of his title without giving him enough time to make the best fight possible is truly what is wrong with boxing, and I plan to aggressively consider all legal actions possible.”
According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Alvarez is in serious discussions to fight Demetrius Andrade for a middleweight unification bout. Should be very interesting to see how this situation plays out.
Here is a statement from Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya on Canelo-GGG 2:
On the night of Saturday, September 15, fans were set to be treated to what sports should be all about: the two best athletes in a sport squaring off against each other with the winner earning the title of the best in the business. This kind of an event – where an individual can be called the best in any sport — is truly rare.
Not only did the fight itself deliver all that was promised, against all kinds of pressure, Canelo Alvarez gave the performance of his lifetime to secure the unified middleweight championship of the world.
- Unfairly criticized for not fighting “Mexican” enough in the first fight, he kept Gennady Golovkin on his heals all night, taking the action to the “boogeyman of boxing,” walking him down and controlling the pace.
- Repeatedly ravaged for two positive drug tests that showed minor traces of clenbuterol – a common occurrence in Mexico due to the contamination of beef across the country, Canelo submitted to more than 20 drug tests in the lead up to the fight and passed them all with flying colors.
- Saddled with a judge’s card of a year ago that he had nothing to do with; the pressure of millions of fans watching; and what many were describing as a must-win to stay relevant, Canelo delivered a near-flawless fight.
It wouldn’t be boxing if thousands of keyboard warriors weren’t talking (or tweeting) complete nonsense in the hours and days after Canelo began to cement his legacy as an all-time great fighter.
Many have told me to ignore the haters; that I’ll never win. But while I know I won’t convince many of them, allowing them to even partly soil what was a certain fight of the year; a megaevent seen by millions of people; and a virtuoso performance by boxing’s marquis fighter would do a disservice to the sport I love.
So allow me to respond to a few of the more absurd comments.
Golden Boy paid the judges to fix the fight.
Though I don’t think this deserves response, here are the facts: The three judges were chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Given the result of the first fight, NSAC was under a lot of scrutiny to come up with the fairest group of judges possible. For the first time I know of, GBP and team GGG were even allowed to approve a pool of judges. They saw what everyone else did; a close, competitive fight and scored it exactly that way.
Golovkin landed more punches and therefore should have won the fight.
If landed punches were the difference between winning or losing a boxing match, we would have an incredibly different and less interesting sport. Clean punching, ring generalship, effective aggressiveness and defense are what the judges are looking for in determining the winner of a round. I’m obviously a promoter, but in the four areas that actually count in judging, I can’t find one where GGG was the victor.
Tom Loeffler’s statement that he doesn’t know if Golvokin can win a decision in Las Vegas.
Perhaps Tom is just looking to make GGG feel better, but regardless this is maybe the most disappointing comment, because it comes from someone who knows the sport. Of course, GGG can win a decision in Vegas. But 22,000 people aren’t going to crowd into the T-Mobile to watch Golovkin fight and blast out the likes of Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe, Jr., or Vanes Martirosyan. He is going to need to fight a higher level of competition – and then fight better than that opponent – to earn a victory in the mecca of boxing.
Boxing is a wonderful sport that is coming back thanks to streaming technology and growing international interest. But it is a sport that also faces competition, not only from the outside in the form of other, more-widely watched leagues, but from inside where the fractured nature of boxing has made it tougher and tougher for the best to face the best.
Just look at celebrity row to see how special Saturday night was. There, another best-in-sport athlete, Lebron James, joined Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and a huge group of other A-list celebrities to witness something special.
While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (especially in boxing), let’s take a moment to appreciate what Canelo and GGG gave us on Saturday night and work towards doing it more often for the sake of the sport we all love so much.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
When Floyd Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, it put the then 30-year-old Mayweather in position to become the face of boxing. From there, Mayweather became the PPV King and would go on to earn close to a billion dollars in the ring. However, according to De La Hoya, who was 34 years old at the time of the fight, the bout would have ended differently if he were a few years younger.
“It’s no secret that I fought Floyd when I was over the hill, past my prime.” De La Hoya told TMZ Sports. “Just the way I fought Manny Pacquiao, but it was a good, close fight with Floyd. Look, he deserved the win. He was the next guy coming up. “If I was about 28 or 27 years old, I would have knocked that a** out easy.”
De La Hoya actually fought a good fight against Mayweather and had some success with the jab, and yes, he was past his prime, and only fought two more times after that, which included a beat down from Pacquiao.
However, Mayweather was fighting at 154 for the first time, so the weight gave De La Hoya an advantage in that fight, and Mayweather(50-0) would end his career undefeated, so no one found the blueprint to beat him.
In the end, we’ll never know.
WBO Junior Middleweight champ Miguel Cotto is expected to finish his great career after his fight with Sadam Ali on December 2 at Madison Square Garden.
Will the 37-year-old Cotto actually retire after his fight with Ali?
Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya thinks this will be the last time we see Cotto in the ring:
“Obviously, there’s many reasons why a fighter can choose to come back, but a fighter like Miguel Cotto, he has everything he needs, most importantly, his family,” De La Hoya said during a conference call on Wednesday. “He has a whole island that supports him, that is with him 100 percent. Millions of people who supported him all over the world so there’s no reason. He has one last chance, and believe me, he’s obviously training to give everyone the best show possible. I believe we’re going to see the best Miguel Cotto we’ve seen on December 2nd” De La Hoya said. “I believe him when he says this is his last fight.”
If Cotto’s wins, he has some options. Maybe Canelo again, maybe GGG or possibly the winner of Saunders-Lemieux. So, have we seen the last of Cotto? I guess we have to let time be the judge of that!
Oscar De La Hoya has been a huge critic of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight. While you can criticize the fight, you can’t criticize how much money this fight is going to make. It probably will shatter all pay-per-view records.
De La Hoya, who lost to Mayweather in 2007, believes McGregor has no chance of beating Mayweather.
De La Hoya gave his thoughts about the fight to TMZ Sports.
Take a listen:
Cinco De Mayo weekend is a great time to figure out who is the “King of Mexico.” At the T-MobIe Arena, in Las Vegas, NV, Canelo Alvarez battles Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the catch-weight of 164.5 pounds in a 12-round non-title fight on Saturday night(HBO PPV).
On the surface, Canelo, 26, (48-1-1, 34 KOs) has been the more active fighter, has fought more championship caliber fighters, and has a better overall skill set. However, Chavez Jr., 31, (50-2-1, 32 KOs) is no bum. He has proven that he has a puncher’s chance, but reportedly, he had to lose a lot of weight to get down to 164 pounds. The biggest question was would Chavez Jr. make weight? He did that. The next question is how motivated Chavez Jr. will be coming into this fight? In the past, he has not been motivated enough to stop smoking weed. In his biggest fight, against Sergio Martinez in 2012, Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana. This could be his last chance to live off his dad’s name, the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. This could be his night of resurrection, or could be the day he goes away.
Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo need this fight. What could be next for Alvarez is a battle with GGG. Other than Mayweather-McGregor (don’t laugh), Canelo-GGG is the biggest fight that could be made in boxing! That does not happen without beating Chavez Jr. Canelo has GBP on his back. He is their most marketable fighter, and at this point, is the cash cow of boxing.
So who wins?
Canelo is the better fighter. Skills pay bills. With that being said, I see Canelo stopping Chavez Jr. in 8, but Chavez Jr. will be a live dog early. Chavez Jr. biggest victory was making weight. He won that battle, but he will lose the war.