Oscar De La Hoya has refused to rule out a fight with middleweight kingpin Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as he pushes ahead with his plan to return to the ring.
The 47-year-old, who retired 12 years ago after losing to Manny Pacquiao at welterweight, has a famously frosty relationship with Alvarez, who he promotes through his company Golden Boy Promotions.
Appearing on Chris Mannix’s Sports Illustrated boxing podcast, De La Hoya was asked if he would be interested in facing Alvarez.
“I don’t know,” De La Hoya replied. “I’m crazy but not that crazy.
“Canelo is an amazing fighter, he’s the best, he’s a pound-for-pound champ, and he hits like a mule.
“You’re throwing me in the fire here. That’s a challenge. I never back down from anybody, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
There will be no tune-up fights for De La Hoya.
“I would come back in a real fight,” he said. “Everybody that knows me knows that I go for the best right from the top. I remember taking three years when I fought [Ricardo] Mayorga in a comeback fight.
“So there’s no tune-up fights for me, no feeling out process. I want to go straight to whoever is the best out there. There’s a lot of variables that come into play.
“Suppose you look at the Pacquiao fight. That wasn’t me, I have to admit. Coming down from 160 to 147, and losing the muscle and. Obviously, no excuses.
“Pacquiao is an amazing fighter, an amazing friend. He did a number on me, but it wasn’t me at 147. I was actually weighing 144, which I was a walking zombie. And I strongly feel that if I come down to 154, which I can, and I know I can.
“I can do something. I can do some damage to a few fighters out there. Skill is involved, and my power, you never lose power. Maybe my timing might be off a little, but that’s something I’m going to have to figure out when you’re up there.”
De La Hoya has been training for a number of months now and is already doing six rounds of heavy sparring. He says if the comeback proceeds, there is only one person he wants to train him.
“The only person that comes to mind, and the only person I would ask if Floyd Mayweather Sr,” said De La Hoya.
“Floyd Mayweather Sr is the only trainer who could tell me to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, and he’s the only trainer that can push my buttons to make me work hard and smart. So I would go to him and humbly ask him to do this favour for me.
“By September, I’m hoping to spar 12 rounds on a regular basis, and by that time, I do want to make the decision on fighting in the first quarter of next year.”
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