After a 13-year absence, Oscar De La Hoya is set to make his boxing comeback as he takes on former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on September 11.
The match between former boxing and MMA champs will now be contested as a professional bout instead of an exhibition as earlier announced, according to reports.
"[Oscar] is the one who said, ‘I’m in the best shape of my life, f*ck this exhibition B.S. I’m going for real,’” said Ryan Kavanaugh of Triller, the fight's promoter.
But months before De La Hoya officially comes out of retirement, he had already traded blows with a fellow boxing legend as soon as he announced his return to the ring.
The Mexican-American great, who announced his decision to reignite his passion as a boxer back earlier in the year, exchanged virtual punches with Manny Pacquiao, the man who sent him to retirement.
On the same day of the announcement, Pacquiao rained down on De La Hoya's parade with a clip of their welterweight megabout on social media showing the eight-division world boxing champion pounding him, as if reminding the Golden Boy of the bitter past.
As unrelenting as he is, De La Hoya refused to back down even from Pacquiao's subtle jab as he fired one right back.
Does this call for a rematch?
Well, who knows. One thing is certain, though: both De La Hoya and Pacquiao aren't done making their presence felt in the boxing circuit.
De La Hoya remains active in the business as the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions while preparing for his bout against Belfort.
On the other hand, Pacquiao, who founded MP Promotions, is set to square off against Errol Spence Jr., the WBC and IBF world welterweight champion, on August 21.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
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