Oscar De La Hoya changes mind on comeback, will stay retired
MANILA, Philippines—Legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya pulled back on his return plans and stressed that he will stay retired.
In an interview with BoxingScene.com, De La Hoya said the stress the his body went through in training was too much especially after surviving a bout with COVID-19 in September.
The six-division world champion was supposed to take on former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Vitor Belfort on September 11 but had to pull out of the fight due to the virus.
“I can’t imagine myself in the ring anymore. I’m hanging up the gloves for sure and calling it a day,” said De La Hoya.
“It’s not likely [I will fight again]. I’m not feeling it. I went through so much in training. I was on it. When I trained, I left everything and my focus was 100%. It just drained me. I couldn’t handle it. Once I got COVID, I still have problems breathing when I’m running.”
De La Hoya, back in November 2021, said he planned to go back to training in January 2022 but decided against it.
The Golden Boy Promotions founder credited his developing relationship with girlfriend Holly Sanders as one of the driving factors to stay retired and no longer seek refuge from the sport.
“I feel complete now. I have six projects aside from boxing that I’m working on right now that are huge – mega. I’ve refocused. I have the energy. I have a woman by my side who makes me feel like King Kong,” said De La Hoya.
“It’s motivating. It really is. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen with Golden Boy and my personal brand. Things are moving in the right direction. I’m really excited about it.”
The 1992 Olympic gold medalist hasn’t fought since 2008 when he lost to Manny Pacquiao via technical knockout.
De La Hoya added that there’s nothing left for him to prove and that his boxing career is already established as it is.
“You try to convince yourself that life is going to get better [after retirement]. Once you’re retired and not doing what you love, there’s a big hole. Boxing creates the hole, but boxing can cover the hole. I owe everything to boxing, including my life,” said De La Hoya. “My legacy is already established, and I’m proud of it.”