By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum couldn’t help but laugh when he was asked if he would vote for Oscar De La Hoya in 2020.
Arum, who promoted De La Hoya for much of the Hall-of-Fame fighter’s career, shook his head at the mere mention of De La Hoya running for president of the United States.
“Let me tell you something – nobody dislikes Trump more than I do,” Arum told a small group of reporters recently. “But if Oscar ran against Trump for president, I would be conflicted.”
De La Hoya said last week while promoting the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch that he is contemplating running for the highest office in American government.
“The Golden Boy” would campaign as a Democrat. He has already received an endorsement from former Mexican president Vicente Fox.
Arum, who has had a love-hate relationship with De La Hoya since De La Hoya launched his own promotional company in 2004, was surprised his former fighter would talk about running for president.
“I don’t know why he would say something like that – because schmucks like you write it,” Arum said. “He gets another line in the paper for promoting the fight. ‘I’m running for president!’ And you have Vicente Fox [saying], ‘Go Oscar! No wall! No wall!’ ”
De La Hoya, 45, told the Los Angeles Times he has thought about entering politics for many years. He doesn’t consider running for president unrealistic because celebrities have won gubernatorial and presidential elections in recent years.
“It’s real,” De La Hoya said. “That’s the beauty of our nation. If Arnold [Schwarzenegger] can be governor, if Trump can be president, then why can’t a Mexican-American who won an Olympic gold medal, who’s over 35 and a U.S. citizen, run for presidency?”
The retired six-division champion’s struggles outside the ring with alcoholism and drug addiction are well documented. The Los Angeles native still believes he would receive strong support among voters.
“As I got older, I get wiser,” De La Hoya said. “And as I get wiser, I get smarter. And as I get smarter, I start to realize the millions and millions of people who’ve told me, ‘Oscar, why don’t you run for some kind of office? Because you can make a difference.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.