Oscar De La Hoya did not take Gennadiy Golovkin's menacing words about him lying down, as the retired great continued to tease a comeback against the sport's very best present-day competitiors.
Golovkin, who halted Kamil Szeremeta on Dec. 18 to notch a record 21st world middleweight title defence, did not take kindly to reports that De La Hoya was not only serious about returning to the ring in his late forties, but that he wanted an elite opponent such as "Triple G."
“You know Oscar, you know how dirty his mouth is,” Golovkin told Agence France-Presse last month. “Everything involving Gennadiy Golovkin for him is a nightmare. He can say whatever. But let me put it this way — if I got an opportunity to legally kill a person in the ring, I might seize it.”
The former welterweight king was not fazed by the threat when speaking to Fight Hub TV this week.
“Look, they (the comments) weren’t nice, but he’s a fighter, he’s got to protect his own image,” De La Hoya responded. “But he’s obviously still a dangerous fighter because he hits hard.
“I mean c’mon, I’m not a walk in the park, like the guy he fought on the other day.
“I’ve always prided myself on fighting the best,” he added. “That’s never going to change. I can’t go back on that.”
De La Hoya reiterated that part of the motivation for his potential return was to lead by example against the sport's habit of protecting unbeaten records, which often leads to many huge fights never happening.
“It’s also to prove a point,” De La Hoya continued. “To prove a point myself that I can do it. But to show this younger generation of fighters that to be the best you have to beat the best. Even at this age at 47 I still want to beat the best.
“Hopefully it can spark something with these young guys. Instead of listening to the whispers in their ears instead of thinking about the business first. Think about the fight. Think about the glory. Think about the legacy. The only way to create a legacy is by fighting the very best.”
Golovkin operates at 160lb, but De La Hoya is looking to be around that weight for his return as opposed to the 147lb of his heyday. So, maybe "Golden Boy" vs. "GGG" could actually happen after all — believe it or not.
“I would have to look at the top guys out there that make the most sense, meaning you look at their styles, where they’re at at their careers, what weight I want to fight in,” De La Hoya said.
“I don’t think I would have a problem making between 154 and 160. I don’t think I would have a problem with that.”