By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t want to fight Conor McGregor after all.
After drawing criticism for calling out the UFC superstar nearly three weeks ago on the inaugural radio show his promotional company launched, the retired six-division champion made it clear early Sunday morning that he “can’t” come back for a fight against McGregor. Neither McGregor nor UFC president Dana White has expressed any interest whatsoever in McGregor boxing De La Hoya, who was very vocal in his opposition to McGregor’s polarizing boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26 in Las Vegas.
White denounced De La Hoya as a hypocrite for calling out McGregor after lambasting Mayweather for beating the Irish mixed martial artist for the 50th victory of the unbeaten Mayweather’s career.
Though there didn’t seem to be any chance it was going to happen, De La Hoya’s recent challenge to McGregor prompted reporters to ask “The Golden Boy” about it during a post-fight press conference following Sadam Ali’s upset of Miguel Cotto on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The 44-year-old De La Hoya reiterated that he would need only two rounds to knock out McGregor in a 154-pound boxing match, but admitted that his body won’t allow him to return even for what he thinks would be an easy fight.
“Even though that would be too easy for me, but … I mean, come on, guys,” De La Hoya said. “Come on, you don’t give me two rounds? Come on? Are you kidding me? I’ve got to train what, six months? If I train six months, two rounds, easy. At 154? Whoooo.”
The aches and pains from recent training sessions reminded De La Hoya that he can’t fight again. De La Hoya hasn’t fought since Manny Pacquaio pummeled him into submission in a stunningly one-sided fight De La Hoya was heavily favored to win in December 2008.
“My mind wants to do it, my body doesn’t let me,” De La Hoya said. “I loved training, actually. I was like a gym rat. I loved training. But you know what? Honestly speaking, no, I can’t. I can’t. I won’t do it. I won’t. I can’t. I’m not. So McGregor can sleep good at night. So he doesn’t have to worry. It’s all good. Don’t worry about it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.