LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya remains confident that he still can handle himself in the ring.
De La Hoya, who is nearly a decade into retirement, said on Monday that he has been “secretly training” and called out UFC star Conor McGregor. “You know I’m competitive,” the 44-year-old De La Hoya said on “Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew,” a daily digital radio show.
“I still have it in me. 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.”
De La Hoya publicly considered a comeback in June 2015, only to change his tune one week later.
A 1992 Olympic gold medal winner and 10-time professional world champion, De La Hoya captured titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds. He won bouts against Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (twice), Pernell Whitaker and Arturo Gatti. He also fought other greats, including Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho Sr., Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley (twice) and Manny Pacquiao.
De La Hoya has not fought since dropping a one-sided eighth-round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao on December 6, 2008.
He went 39-6 with 30 knockouts in his career and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.
De La Hoya also has battled drug and alcohol addiction and has been to rehabilitation multiple times, but he said in Monday’s interview that he is doing well now.
McGregor, 29, lost a 10th-round knockout to Floyd Mayweather on August 26 when he crossed over from mixed martial arts for a boxing match.
De La Hoya was quite vocal heading into that bout, saying it was a “circus” and a “farce.”