Thankfully, De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs), who defeated 17 world champions and captured 10 crowns in six different weight classes, reconsidered the asinine idea.
“I can’t do it, can’t do it,” said De La Hoya, 39, who hung-up his gloves after being battered by Manny Pacquiao in an eight round TKO loss in December 2008. “I think about making a comeback every single day. I went running, I went training, did that for a few days. But my body couldn’t handle it. I’m 39, but I’m an old 39.”
De La Hoya, one of the great pound-for-pound prizefighters from 1994 to 2002, admitted contemplating suicide while battling his drug and alcohol dependence in rehab in May 2011.
“I think my body went through a lot, went through the wringer. In terms of being inside the ring, getting hit, but also outside the ring, living a crazy life,” said De La Hoya, the only U.S. boxer to win a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. “If I have the desire of coming back, I go and work out, and there goes those plans.”
The 33-year-old Sturm (37-2-2, 16 KOs), who hasn’t been trumped since losing to Javier Castillejo by a 10th round TKO in July 2006, is a formidable scrapper.
Still, De La Hoya, named The Ring magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” in 1995, certainly could have again beaten the Bosnian if properly trained later this autumn.
Nevertheless, “The Golden Boy,” who fearlessly took on all challengers during his 17-year career as a professional, absolutely made the correct choice to remain inactive.
Oscar De La Hoya indeed is “an old 39” and he has nothing left to prove inside the squared circle.by