Oscar De La Hoya: 'I'm still confused' about retirement
Oscar De La Hoya says he is "60-40" leaning toward retirement, but has yet to "wake up ... and say, 'I've had enough.' "
In a lengthy telephone interview with The Times today from San Juan, Puerto Rico, De La Hoya (39-6, 30 knockouts) said he still retains "passion of the game, I love boxing," but is hopeful he will someday soon have a moment of epiphany when he'll know his career is over.
"I have to be true to myself, I can't lie to myself," he said.
De La Hoya is less than three months removed from his one-sided loss to Manny Pacquiao, when his corner called off the fight after the Filipino star battered a sluggish De La Hoya, now 36, for eight rounds.
"I won't take anything away from what Pacquiao accomplished, but when you're feeling like a zombie walking through the tunnel going to fight, and you can't throw a punch -- when you see an opening and can't throw a punch in there -- maybe I just turned old overnight."
De La Hoya says he still has fighters and friends telling him that reaching the 147-pound weight limit in the Pacquiao fight zapped him of his typical strength and crisp punches. One of those is Shane Mosley, and De La Hoya says a third fight against the Pomona fighter is "the most intriguing" option.
But when he associates with the public while golfing -- his handicap is down to 6 -- De La Hoya says he hears people urging his retirement: "You're still our champ, let's just play golf."
His wife, Millie, and Golden Boy Promotions business partner Richard Schaefer are also pushing him to call it a career, De La Hoya said.
He said he has no timetable established to determine whether to retire or fight.
"I hope it's sooner rather than later," De La Hoya said. "I am 36. If I do decide to fight and wait too long, it could get dangerous."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: A battered Oscar De La Hoya sits in his corner before the 8th round of his December match against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press