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Oscar De La Hoya’s comeback fight will be a professional boxing match, despite reports that the Golden Boy was only interested in an exhibition bout.
De La Hoya, now 48-years-old, has been teasing his comeback for several years. The former six-weight world champion confirmed earlier this year that he would be making his return to the boxing ring in September, in a bout set to be promoted by social media giant Triller.
Since, the Golden Boy has confirmed that he will face former UFC champion, Vitor Belfort. Belfort became UFC light heavyweight champion in 2004 after knocking out Randy Couture and is four years younger than De La Hoya.
Indeed, while the clash was expected to be an exhibition bout, it has since been confirmed by ESPN that the fight will be a professional contest.
According to Triller Fight Club founder Ryan Kavanaugh, despite being out of the boxing ring for nearly 13 years, it was De La Hoya’s decision to compete professionally.
“[Oscar] is the one who said, ‘I’m in the best shape of my life, f**k this exhibition B.S. I’m going for real,’” Kavanaugh confirmed to ESPN.
“None of this ballroom dancing boxing has had to endure. Both of them are in incredible shape.”
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Despite Kavanaugh’s claim that De La Hoya is in excellent physical condition, a recent training clip shared by the Golden Boy unfortunately suggested otherwise.
During the clip, the California-native worked on his head movement and footwork but appeared to have lost several yards of pace since his last professional boxing match.
While De La Hoya clearly isn’t the boxer he once was, the Mexican-American is adamant that if he defeats Belfort in September, there’s only one other man he’s interested in fighting: Floyd Mayweather.
“I think Floyd after that exhibition he did with Logan [Paul], I think Floyd has, I think he feels like he has to prove something once again inside the boxing ring,” De La Hoya claimed during a DAZN broadcast several weeks ago.
“So, look, if I come out okay, my body feels great. I’m telling you, my jab feels faster than ever. I think it’s the 15 years I didn’t use it. If I feel good these next two fights that I have, I’m going to call out Floyd.”
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De La Hoya and Mayweather faced off back in 2007, in what would be the latter’s first fight to do over a million pay-per-view buys. Mayweather would win the bout via split decision.
The Golden Boy would go one to fight twice more in his professional career, defeating Steve Forbes via unanimous decision and losing via stoppage to Manny Pacquiao.
It was only the second time De La Hoya had been finished in his professional career and he would retire shortly after.
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