Oscar De La Hoya claims he's been secretly training, challenges Conor McGregor to box

Throughout the build-up to the August super fight between Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor, the most outspoken critic was Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya.

Despite the fact that his comments were largely hypocritical -- just months earlier, "The Golden Boy" had publicly urged McGregor to face his own fighter, Canelo Alvarez -- De La Hoya went to great lengths to disparage both competitors. 

In June, he wrote a letter to boxing fans and urged them not to purchase the fight because "our sport may not recover." Then, on the eve of the bout, De La Hoya sent out a vulgar tweet aimed at both, which said, "F--- you. Both of you are disrespecting the sport of boxing."

Three months later, after the fight threatened records for live gate and pay-per-view buys, De La Hoya has decided that if he can't beat them, he might as well join them. 

During Monday's debut episode of "Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew," the three-hour daily digital show which airs on Dash Radio, De La Hoya announced that he intends to make a comeback at age 44. His choice of opponent -- none other than McGregor. 

"You know I'm competitive," De La Hoya told Tattoo and Jessica Rosales. "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."

De La Hoya hasn't fought since quitting on his stool against Manny Pacquiao in 2008 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014. The years which followed saw multiple battles with substance abuse. 

The six-division champion wouldn't specify on the date of his return, nor would he comment on whether there is already a plan in the works for the fight to happen.

"That's all I'm going to say," De La Hoya said. "You heard it on Golden Boy Radio. Two rounds, that's all I need." 

De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) did specify that the fight would need to take place in a boxing ring, as opposed to a mixed martial arts cage.

"Let's get it straight -- in the cage, he would freeking destroy me," De La Hoya said. "He would freeking destroy me! Only in the ring. 

"I've been working out for the last five months. [My confidence] is how I feel now from my training. I don't know what it is, but I'll tell you now that I've never felt so good before in my life."

De La Hoya went on to say that he's in "the best place of my life" mentally.

"Every day just keeps getting better. Life is good," he said. "Life is a struggle, life is hard. It's not all peaches and cream. But life is life and you have to think about the solution of what you have to do to keep walking."

In 2015, De La Hoya announced he was seriously considering a return to challenge unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Three years earlier, he came close to announcing a return to challenge middleweight titleholder Felix Sturm, whom De La Hoya scored a disputed decision against in 2004. 

McGregor, 28, was stopped in Round 10 of his lone professional boxing match at Mayweather. He is expected to the Octagon to defend his 155-pound UFC title in the next six months although no date has been announced. 

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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