Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya’s next fight could be booked any day now, after his planned return from a 13-year retirement was curtailed by COVID-19 in September. The question then is, who will “The Golden Boy’s” opponent be for his (hopefully) triumphant comeback?
Who will Oscar De La Hoya’s next fight be against?
Although September plans for De La Hoya to return to the square circle against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort were dashed by the scourge that is COVID, it is still very likely the Mexican sports icon will eventually find a new booking and dance partner. When he does return, the opponents that are the most logical options are Floyd Mayweather, Anderson Silva, and Manny Pacquiao.
- A ‘Money’ Rematch: De La Hoya was the only man to ever take Mayweather to a split decision during his unblemished career. That loss still eats at him, and he confirmed as much in a recent TMZ Sports interview when he said a rematch would be an easy motivation to return to the ring.
- The Spider: Since the Belfort fight was almost a thing but didn’t happen, why not a bout with an even greater MMA legend in newbie boxer Anderson Silva? A clash of a well-aged MMA legend vs. Boxing legend is right down Triller’s alley.
- Runback with the ‘Pacman’: Pacquiao sent De La Hoya into retirement by technical knockout in 2008. It seems fitting that a retirement-ending matchup should be a chance to right the wrong of his last appearance in the ring.
Oscar De La Hoya vs Vitor Belfort: The fight that almost happened
De La Hoya’s return to boxing has been rumored off and on since he retired in 2008. Yet in 2021, it seemed like his long-awaited return would finally come in the form of a partnership with Triller Fight Club and boxing vs MMA matchup against Belfort. However, just a week before the fight everything changed.
What happened: Seven days before he was set to make his boxing comeback, De La Hoya was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. And unfortunately for the 48-year-old, this was not an asymptomatic situation with the virus. He was hospitalized for four days as he battled back to health. Forcing Triller to immediately seek out a replacement and avoid losing both main event participants for the heavily promoted card.
The fallout: With De La Hoya out, in stepped multi-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. At first glance, “The Real Deal” seemed like a more fitting matchup for Belfort — considering his MMA past as light heavyweight. However, the 59-year-old Holyfield was no match for the Brazilian, and Belfort needed less than two minutes to crush the boxing legend.
What makes Oscar De La Hoya so popular?
Although De La Hoya may not land in any lists of the top-10, or even 20, boxers of all-time it is hard to deny the massive influence he has had on the sport as a multi-division champion and one of its most famous promoters.
“The Golden Boy”: De La Hoya had a fight career that many fight sports veterans would have killed for.
- Oscar De La Hoya record: 39-6 (30 knockouts)
- The native of East Los Angeles earned his nickname by winning an Olympic gold medal for the US in 1992
- His good looks and elite talent made him an instant superstar after he went unbeaten over his first 31 fights
- De La Hoya won titles in six divisions and earned victories over champions and future Hall-of-Famers in Julio Cesar Chavez (twice), Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, and Fernando Vargas.
- However, for all his monumental wins, many will remember De La Hoya for coming up short in career-defining moments against other boxing greats in Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosely (twice), Bernard Hopkins, and Mayweather.
The Golden Promoter: De La Hoya’s most lasting influence on the sport may end up being his formation of Golden Boy Promotions, and the millions of dollars that bouts he promoted earned.
- When Golden Boy Promotions was established in 2002, it was meant to be an opportunity for fighters to break away from the control long-time promoters like Bob Arum and Don King had on the sport and give athletes more leverage
- Fellow boxing greats of the time Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley were key players in the early years of the company
- The promotion successfully marketed massive fights like De La Hoya vs Mayweather, and De La Hoya vs Pacquiao, and was the home for some of the earliest big fights of the sport’s current box-office king Canelo Alvarez
- Golden Boy Promotions also had a failed foray into MMA promotion with its disastrous Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz III event in 2018
- That event and various comments over the year are why De La Hoya and UFC boss Dana White have become blood enemies. Barking at each other from their two perches atop their combat sports.
- Oscar De La Hoya wife or Oscar De La Hoya girlfriend are common Google searches for the fighting legend. He is not currently married but is dating sports reporter Holly Sonders.
Oscar De La Hoya net worth
The measure of a fighter often comes down to the money they’ve made throughout their career. In the case of De La Hoya, his net worth is estimated at around $200 million.