When 47 year old Oscar De La Hoya spoke with Ring Magazine a few days back, speaking about his plans to launch a comeback, most fans put it down to just that – talk. But De La Hoya, who said back then that he wanted to “see what Mike Tyson can do” before making his mind up on his own return to the ring, has now told Jim Hill of CBS Sports that he is back in training, that he will begin sparring in the not too distant future.
It seems Oscar is serious, he is going to fight again – perhaps before the end of the year.
“I’ve been thinking about it [coming back] more and more each day,” the former multi-weight champion said on Thursday. “I’ve been actually training and actually running. Who knows if it will take place at the end of the year or early next year, but I’m getting there. I feel really good. I start sparring in two weeks. Maybe we can have this interview in a couple of weeks. We’ll see how I feel with a black eye.”
It will be interesting to see just who De La Hoya spars with, and for how long and how hard. If De La Hoya does fight at age 47 he will not be the oldest ex-champion to have boxed. Still, not too many former champions have launched a full comeback at such an advanced age. Legends George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins were still fighting at age 47, and beyond, but they did not start off all over again at that age. Off the top of my head, only Thomas Hearns pops up – the all-time great launching a shock comeback in July of 2005 when “The Hitman” was 46 years old; Hearns winning two fights and then retiring for good.
If De La Hoya is serious he will likely need an initial return fight, then something of a test against a guy who will take him rounds, and then a meaningful fight. Or maybe De La Hoya is aiming for one fight and one fight only. If Oscar actually goes through with it and gets back in the ring, fan interest could well be quite considerable.
De La Hoya, 39-6(30) has not boxed since Manny Pacquiao stopped him way back in December of 2008.