It appears Oscar De La Hoya teasing a return to the ring in multiple 2020 interviews was not just the legendary boxer blowing hot air. During Friday’s press conference for the upcoming boxing match between YouTube celebrity-turned fighter Jake Paul and former MMA champion Ben Askren, De La Hoya said he would be stepping back in the ring on July 3.
“July 3, I’m making my comeback,” De La Hoya stated during the press conference.
De La Hoya, 48, has not fought since a December 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao. He stepped away from active participation in the sport to continue his focus on Golden Boy Promotions but retired with a career record of 39-6 and having won world championships in six weight classes.
The former Olympic gold medalist revealed last year that he was focused on returning to competition, following in the footsteps of other legends like Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. who fought in a blockbuster exhibition fight promoted by streaming service Triller. Triller also is putting on the fight between Paul and Askren.
“The rumors are true, and I’m going to start sparring in the next few weeks,” De La Hoya told ESPN last year. “It’s a real fight I miss being in the ring, I love boxing. Boxing is what gave me everything I have today, and I just miss it.”
While De La Hoya previously said his return would be against “any top guy,” his opponent for July 3 has not yet been announced. Boxing reporter Steve Kim reports that De La Hoya and other Golden Boy Promotions executives are scouting locations for the bout, including Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.