Oscar De La Hoya is willing to settle his differences with Canelo Alvarez in the ring.
The Mexican icon’s former promoter is 17 years older than him. “The Golden Boy” hasn’t fought in 12½ years, either, but De La Hoya likes his chances against the WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion many consider the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
De La Hoya exuded confidence Tuesday in Los Angeles when he was asked by ESPN.com’s Marc Raimondi about potentially fighting Alvarez in what would be billed as a grudge match.
“Why not? Why not? It’s only power,” De La Hoya said following a press conference at Staples Center to promote his upcoming fight against Vitor Belfort. “That’s all it is. Power I can withstand. Speed, like Pacquiao, is a whole different story. Power, power – I have a good chin. You know?”
Pacquiao’s speed enabled the Filipino southpaw to dominate De La Hoya in the six-division champion’s last boxing match in December 2008. De La Hoya has spoken many times about returning to the ring since Pacquiao stopped him following the eighth round at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 1992 Olympic gold medalist finally committed to his comeback bout in the spring. He’ll battle Brazil’s Belfort, a retired UFC legend, in the main event of a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view show September 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) and Belfort (boxing debut) will square off in an eight-round cruiserweight fight that’ll count on their professional boxing records. The contracted catch weight for their fight is 180 pounds and they’ll reportedly wear 12-ounce gloves, bigger than the standard 10-ounce gloves usually worn in pro bouts contested above the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
If Alvarez were to even entertain a fight against such an inactive, older opponent, De La Hoya likely would have to come down lower than 180 pounds. The 31-year-old Alvarez boxed once at the light heavyweight maximum of 175 pounds, but the four-division champion returned to the super middleweight division for his subsequent bout.
De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, represented Alvarez for most of his career. They parted ways late last year after a contract dispute.
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing has worked with Alvarez for his past three fights – victories over former WBA super middleweight champ Callum Smith, overmatched mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim and ex-WBO super middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) had hoped to box IBF champ Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) on September 18 in Las Vegas, but negotiations between their representatives haven’t resulted in a deal for what would be a full title unification fight in the super middleweight division.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.