Oscar De La Hoya Speaks, Finally

It hasn’t gotten a ton of attention yet, but Oscar De La Hoya, on the Ring magazine website, has finally talked about his devastating loss to Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight (147 lbs.) bout in December.

It’s a sad sort of interview. He talks about wishing that Pacquiao would land one shot that would knock him out and “take me out of my misery.” He acknowledges the obvious role that weight played in the fight. He says Manny “didn’t hit hard,” which is insanity. Explaining his long absence from public life, he said he didn’t want to show his face after the embarrassing loss, a somewhat understandable sensation. He confesses he is leaning more toward retirement but wonders if he just had the wrong opponent, which, yes, Manny being Manny was one of his problems, but he had plenty of others. He justifies the beating by explaining that a lot of greats, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson among them, ended their careers after terrible thrashings.

It’s true. We shouldn’t remember De La Hoya from the last image we have of him, the same way we don’t remember Tyson or Ali that way. Most every boxer exits the stage on a metaphorical stretcher instead of on a golden throne, really. But eventually, both men left following those horrific beatings. The Los Angeles Times also has an interview with De La Hoya. He says
he’s 60-40 leaning toward retirement, but sounded intrigued by the idea
of fighting Shane Mosley for the third time. De La Hoya doesn’t “have a lot to think about;” he should call it a day.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.