Ten-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya admitted the final fight of his illustrious career was a mistake.
De La Hoya says boiling down in weight for his loss against Pacquiao in 2008 took away his ability to compete with the Filipino Senator.
The Golden Boy Promotion Chairman made the statement as he continued to plot a return to action at the age of 47.
Oscar De La Hoya vs Pacquiao
Describing himself as “a zombie” for the Pacquiao clash, in which he retired at the end of eight rounds, De La Hoya warned any future opponents of his remaining power.
De La Hoya had threatened to make an ill-fated comeback at 154 pounds, a division where the Hall of Famer believed he “could do some damage.”
However, when he took on Pacquiao in the last professional fight of his career, De La Hoya stated he had nothing left.
“I was a zombie,” De La Hoya told si.com. “Skill is involved, obviously. My power, you never lose power.”
De La Hoya, who won world titles at six weight classes, added: “Maybe my timing might be off a little, but that’s something that I’m going to have to figure out on what kind of shape he would have been in twelve years away from the sport.
“So there’s a lot that comes into play. And I strongly feel that I can do it.”
Why did Oscar De La Hoya vs Vitor Belfort get called off?
Despite some skepticism of the promoter’s motivation, De La Hoya was serious until it all fell apart when he contracted Covid.
“I think it’s just a matter of pulling the trigger and deciding to go to the gym. To wake up in the morning and make the sacrifice.
“Before, I wanted to do it, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t pull the trigger. And I couldn’t wake up in the morning. I couldn’t take myself to the gym and spar six rounds.
“Now it’s like I have this motivation to do it for myself. To prove to myself that I could do it. And so we’ll see what happens.”
Everything fell through when former UFC fighter Vitor Belfort was due to be in the opposite corner. At a public workout days before De La Hoya pulled out, Belfort looked like a wrecking machine, even in his forties.
Many suspect De La Hoya got wind of this or saw the footage of Belfort and wanted no part of what was to come.
The next thing fans knew, De La Hoya sent a video in his pyjamas stating he couldn’t fight.
“Hey guys, I am out of the hospital. I was in there for three days,” said De La Hoya. “COVID hit me really hard.
“I was in the best shape of my life, and I really can’t wait to get back in the ring.
“Thank you very much for all your well wishes and all your support. I appreciate it.”
Belfort’s trainer Derik Santos certainly didn’t believe De La Hoya.
He said: “I’m not trying to disrespect Oscar, I saw the video of Oscar, but if I’m being honest, I’m still skeptical,” Santos told Vegas Insider.
“Something about it didn’t seem right – the level of how bad it looked. I know you can still get COVID if you’re double vaccinated, but it didn’t seem right.
“Maybe he realized we were taking the fight seriously. I don’t know.
“As far as I know, their side didn’t try to jump out and reschedule as others have. So yeah, I’m a little skeptical.
“I think he thought: ‘what I have got myself into’ – he even posted this. We were going in there to give him a very good boxing match.
“We were ready. If the man does have COVID, then I wish him a good recovery. I’m just mildly skeptical,” he added.
Evander Holyfield stepped in for De La Hoya and got destroyed in one round. “The Golden Boy” definitely dodged a bullet.