There’s no bigger meal ticket in combat sports right now than Conor McGregor. Everyone wants to fight him, from his fellow mixed martial artists in the UFC lightweight division, to fighters in his former featherweight division, to boxers who suck. The reasoning is simple: Fight McGregor and make a fuckton of money, no matter how stupid or illegitimate the fight is. Floyd Mayweather batted at him for 10 rounds and both men walked off with hefty paydays. Since his latest fit at a Bellator event reportedly got him dropped from December’s UFC 219, his next match still isn’t booked yet.
The latest to line up behind the McGregor gravy train is Oscar De La Hoya, retired former champion boxer who has not fought in nine years and will under no circumstances fight Conor McGregor. De La Hoya went on Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew on Monday and claimed that he’d been “secretly” “training” for a comeback fight and wants that fight to be against McGregor (transcription via ESPN):
“You know I’m competitive,” De La Hoya said. “I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training, secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more [fight]. I’m calling him out. Two rounds, that’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say. You heard it on Golden Boy Radio. Two rounds, that’s all I need.”
It’s worth pointing out that De La Hoya is now 44 years old, looked like a golf ball on a tee in his most recent fight (which was in 2008), and has two wins to his name since 2004. The dude is washed, and he currently faces charges from a January DUI. He moved PPV weight a decade ago, but of all McGregor’s possible opponents, nobody would signal the death of his ambition as a fighter more than De La Hoya.
You know who’s fully aware of this? Oscar De La Hoya, who wrote a harsh open letter before the Mayweather-McGregor fight, calling it a “circus” from which boxing might not ever recover.
This callout isn’t worth taking seriously, as it would be the boxing equivalent of a child grabbing two mismatched action figures and smashing them together for a while. Realistically, McGregor will fight either Tony Ferguson or Nate Diaz in cage next and won’t come back to boxing until he wants to cash in his chips again.