By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya seems to be zeroing in on his next opponent.
After spending several months whipping his now 48-year-old body into fighting shape, De La Hoya announced to the world that he’ll forgo his near decade and a half retirement to return to the ring once again on a July 3rd pay-per-view hosted by Triller.
Although a date was firmly in place, names of opponents were still being sifted through. Following several weeks of discussion, it appears that they’ve locked in on their target.
“Recently we’ve been hearing from Oscar De La Hoya’s guys,” said former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to ESPN. “There’s serious talks. They’re serious like wanting to get a deal done this week serious.”
Alvarez, 37, now competes in ONE Championship, a globally known mixed martial arts organization. At one point, the world-renowned MMA fighter was considered the best lightweight in the world as he briefly held the UFC title. His venture into the boxing world would be his first from a professional standpoint, but Alvarez actually began his fighting career in the boxing ring.
At the age of eight, Alvarez trained for several years at Front Street Gym in Philadelphia, ironically enough, former multiple division champion Danny Garcia trained a local gym near Alvarez as the two were good friends growing up.
Still, even with a bit of experience under his belt and a unique opportunity to face one of the greatest fighters of all time in De La Hoya, Alvarez refuses to take his eyes off his ultimate goal.
“Look, I’m fixated on the ONE Championship belt. I’m laser, laser focused on making history and getting my world title, but I feel like there’s gonna be a lull. The champion is gonna sit for a bit—I think he’s having a baby. If that happens, Oscar De La Hoya and them guys have been reaching out and, hell, I’d love to get in there and mix it up with him. That’d be a hell of a fight and I’ve got everyone here in Philadelphia backing me, and the whole Philadelphia boxing [community] to back me up.”
In the case of De La Hoya, he hasn’t officially stepped into the ring since 2008. The 2014 Hall of Famer was thoroughly outclassed and stopped in the eighth round against eight-division champion, Manny Pacquiao in his final bout.
Regardless of that, if De La Hoya and Alvarez reach an agreement for a July 3rd showdown, the former boxing star figures to be a major favorite heading in. For Alvarez, he’s perfectly fine with that. Although most of the world will brush his chances of pulling off the upset to the side, the former UFC lightweight belt holder believes he can hold his own in there.
“Getting in there to mix it up with that guy would be a dream come true. I actually think I’d do pretty damn good against him.”
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