Oscar: I’m doing this for the right reasons

By Miguel Maravilla

He is back! “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO’s) of East L.A returns to the ring as he takes on UFC fighter, Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort (1-0, 1 KO) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. De La Hoya and Belfort will square off on Saturday, September 11th in headlining ‘LEGENDS II’ at the Staples Center in Los Angeles live on Fite.TV and Triller.


“I’m doing this for the right reasons. I can’t wait to fight Belfort and get back in that ring,” De La Hoya told Fightnews.com®. “It will be a fun fight and it will be intense. This will be a fight.”

Fight night will also mark the 20th Anniversary of 9-11. De La Hoya talked about fighting on that day.

“It’s going to be intense for a lot of people. It will be emotional, what people went through. Wow, 20 years, we remember. We will always remember.”

The 8-time world champion in six weight divisions and 1992 Olympic gold medalist, De La Hoya returns to the ring for the first time since 2008 as he eagerly awaits his showdown with the MMA legend Belfort in what will be a sanctioned boxing match. This will not be an Exhibition bout as Oscar took shots at last month’s Mayweather vs. Paul fiasco.

“Let’s not do a song and dance or these exhibitions that we’re tired of. These exhibitions that we’re seeing are becoming a circus, I want no part of that,” De la Hoya said. “An exhibition isn’t us, Vitor and I have too much at stake,” De La Hoya added.

De La Hoya as always displayed the upmost respect to his Brazilian opponent on Tuesday afternoon as they held their Kick-Off Press Conference at the Staples Center.

“While I respect you brother, (Belfort), I can tell you one thing, we are going to kick the shit out of each other, that’s one thing for sure.” De La Hoya told Belfort. “I have zero animosity towards Belfort,” De La Hoya told Fightnews.com.

Returning to fight at the venue that saw the first boxing fight, when he fought in an all LA showdown against Shane Mosley. With a statue of the “Golden Boy” outside Staples Center on Chick Hearn Drive, this is Oscar’s Homecoming.

“This puts everything in perspective. It reminds me of all the love I have for L.A, the love I have for everyone that has supported me all these years. Bottom line we will get in that ring and I can’t wait,”

Oscar has a tough challenge ahead of him in Vitor Belfort as he has already begun his preparation and appears be in top shape for the Brazilian.

“It’s intense, smart, the fact of the matter, I am 48 years old. I’m just doing anything possible to stay injury-free. The preparation has been all smart training, I will be ready,” De La Hoya stated.

For his opponent Belfort, having only one professional fight is the ideal opponent for De La Hoya to take on his return. Having been out of the ring for over 10 years, this fight will be fought at light heavyweight. Belfort turned pro in 2006 but decided to fight and pursue his MMA career. A student of the game, Belfort trained in Cuba for a year learning the Cuban school of boxing. Just recently he served as sparring partner for Cuban light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera.

“I wanted a different challenge and that’s what Vitor Belfort presents. He is a legend, a tough guy, a striker, he is a professional. The fact that he is a big guy,” De la Hoya commented. “This represents a challenge.”

A career that began in 1992 following his Olympic gold medal victory which saw him waive the U.S. and Mexico flags catapulted him to a superstar in the Mexican as well as Mexican American communities the same way Fernando Valenzuela took Dodger fans and Angelinos with Fernando Mania. Like the Beatles and Elvis, aside from being a great and exciting fighter, Oscar’s sold out most of his fights because of the ladies including a massive sell-out in 1998 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Bolstering an impressive resume that has seen him win multiple world titles in different weight classes, and wins over the greats such as Julio Cesar Chavez, Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, Pernell Whittaker, Hector Camacho, Arturo Gatti, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Jesse James Leija, Rafael Ruelas, and has been in the ring with the likes of Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Sugar Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, and Manny Pacquiao.

“I’ve been in top challenges all my life. I’ve basically been fighting since I was five years old. I’ve had every challenge in the book and I’ve fought the very best,” De La Hoya stated. “I have always fought the best.”

After his last fight, a one-sided stoppage los to Manny Pacquiao, De La Hoya retired and began his role as a promoter but along the way, business differences with longtime associate Richard Schaefer caused a nasty parting of ways.

Along the way Oscar has also struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

“I’m at peace now. I finally got here, and it’s been a struggle. I get to top it all off fighting and that is what I love doing. I feel great. This is for the right reason because I love it,” De La Hoya said. “It’s hard to explain. I never gave up and I will never give up. I can’t wait.”

Oscar De La Hoya gets emotional talks about struggles and eagerness to return to the ring.


Most recently, De La Hoya and Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez parted ways with Golden Boy Promotions. Oscar has also been adamant about taking on Canelo.

“The plan is to do 3 fights. If everything goes well, challenge the very best,” Oscar said.

Say what you want about Oscar, one thing is certain he has never been in a boring fight and always leaves it all in the ring. Expect that to be the case on September 11th as he and Belfort have already predicted the knockout.

“It will be a fun fight. No one in their right mind can say I was in a boring fight. There is no trash talking or anything and I know he is going to hit me hard. Let’s go.”

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla @SoCalBoxing

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    • Oscar being a business man that’s all. Money talks and nothing else matters. #ODLHSELLOUT4MONEY

  • Why do the haters always hate the best Oscar beats them all right now I mean give him credit for a very tough fight first tine out. Probably well over a million ppv buys and probably the only ppv this year worth the$$$. East LA lives again

  • Funny how I can never read a story about Oscar that doesn’t include some reference to Floyd Mayweather. Either he using Floyd’s name to give his credibility a boost because he fought Floyd or he’s saying that what he’s doing is better than what Floyd is doing, as a way to give his credibility a boost.

    • You make great points. Been a boxing fan for over 50 years and boxer’s ego’s compel them to stay relevant long after they are retired. Of course, in this sports environment, money is the great motivator even at the risk of permanent injury. Father Time strips boxers of most of their skills and reflexes…every time. Roy Jones and James Toney come to mind.


  • He made a career of beating smaller guys, but he still did good against other elite fighters at welter. All I can remember of him is that he always seemed fake and fought like a chicken vs Trinidad. All that being said, he’s become weird. He’s become a crooked promoter. Now, he wants to fight again. After the beating he took from Pacquiao, he knows better to challenge a former boxer. Instead, DLH is fighting an MMA fighter. Belfort could fight, but it’d be more interesting even if they take the clinch and ground fighting out and just have a striking match. Oscar boxing vs Belfort kickboxing. Why all these boxers acting tough challenging the boxing novices?

    • Thumbs down you are getting are people out of the know. You are very right! Oscar made his name quick on beating smaller men, then fought everyone who was good and lost.

  • I wish him all the best! Good luck Oscar! I thought he would’ve picked a lighter challenge (is this guy one?) like a Mayorga?

  • Unfortunately for Oscar, at nearly 50 and inactive, this isn’t going to end well. He’s fighting at Light Heavy, up 3 divisions. After the Manny beating, he fell into drugs and depression, with peculiar antics. After nearly 13 years out, with a successful if dubious business to sustain you, why would you risk your last few brain cells doing this? Belfort is long past his prime, but he’s big, strong and could seriously hurt him. Used to buy all your PPV Oscar, loved to watch you fight, but this is a dumbass idea

  • Way to go Oscar. I wish him the very best. With that said I worry greatly that he will resurface in black fishnets and stilettos…

    Please Oscar leave that behavior in the past never to return. Hey I’m sorry I worry about that!

  • Oscar was a great fighter of course but as he indicated he sends love out to all of you (who pay to watch him fight). For those who watch it might be fun, but let’s get it straight Big “O”, this is a MONEYRUN..

  • He is a trouble man who craves attention! He admitted he was over the hill after the Pac fight but suddenly can fight again. Wouldnt spend a dime on this farce

  • If ODLH wants a real fight, why pick an MMA fighter who has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. Why only 2 minute rounds? This is a money grab, and Oscar just might lose. Belfort is big.

  • As a boxer Oscar has always been a world class guy. My only dislike (Boxing side) is he’s a poor loser. I get that be believes he won, but he just goes too far. How many times has he said he’s taking the loss to court and will fight it. He does this during post fight interviews, its not like he has re-watched it and had time to review anything. His only losses (Other than Hopkins) could have gone either way. I also thought he lost to Felix Sturm, but I stick by the record books and official decisions. I think Oscar wants to get back into the ring, have a couple feeling out fights and then challenge Canelo. He isnt taking this fight for just the money. His net worth is more than most people could spend in a lifetime. I think “fans” are judging him by his actions outside the ring and his personal life. I’m personally looking forward to seeing him in the ring again.

    • most of what you wrote is bunk. Pac knocked him senseless. He was a great loser. Same when he lost to Trinidad and Mosley twice. Very humble. You don’t know boxing at all.

  • Good luck to your Oscar. It’s a tough game even for the young and hungry.

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