If Oscar De La Hoya follows through on his desire to return to the ring, fellow boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez would be more than ready to face him in an exhibition that would put the final touch on the Mexican champion’s long, storied career.
“It would be the last exhibition I would do,” the 58-year-old Chavez, who is scheduled to fight Jorge Arce on Sept. 25, told ESPN Deportes program Ahora o Nunca. “But I want to do it in front of fans, not without. I want everyone to see the [beating] I’m going to give him.”
De La Hoya, 47, announced last month that he is coming out of retirement, 12 years after his last bout gave him a career mark of 39-6 with 30 KOs. “The rumors are true, and I’m going to start sparring in the next few weeks,” the 11-time titlist told ESPN. He emphasized that he was not interested in the type of exhibition fights that have pulled boxers such as Chavez, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. out of retirement.
Chavez, a three-time world champion whose last professional fight came in 2005, finished with a record of 107-6-2, with 85 KOs. He faced De La Hoya twice, losing in 1996 with the WBC super lightweight at stake and again two years later for the welterweight belt.
The idea of an exhibition between the two was broached at the beginning of the year, when representatives for Chavez told ESPN that the sides were in talks for a mid-year bout. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shelved those plans for 2020.
De La Hoya said then that while nothing was official, he would be interested in a fundraising event benefitting causes for both boxing legends.