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Let's hope De La Hoya's talk is cheap

LOS ANGELES -- Who knows whether Oscar De La Hoya was just caught up in the moment or if he's serious? But like many of us, he was inspired by the amazing story of Dewey Bozella.

Bozella, as you probably know by now, is the 52-year-old man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He was released in 2009 and his dream was to have one professional fight if he ever got out.

De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions was instrumental in helping Bozella get a license from the California State Athletic Commission and aided him in Bernard Hopkins' training camp as he prepared for his pro debut.

After Bozella's four-round decision victory Saturday night on the Hopkins-Chad Dawson undercard at Staples Center, De La Hoya tweeted, "Bozella wins and has inspired me to make a comeback!!!!!"

De La Hoya is 38. He retired after being destroyed by the much smaller Manny Pacquiao over eight lopsided rounds in December 2008. It was the end of a 3-4 stretch over his last seven fights in which his performance steadily went downhill. He even admitted during the recently concluded "24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz" series on HBO that he was "done" when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in 2007.

De La Hoya also recently disclosed that he has had a drug and drinking problem. He has said his partying ways probably took about four good years off of his career.

The point is, inspired or not, De La Hoya is finished. As great as he was for the sport during his days as boxing's biggest star, the last thing boxing needs is for a washed-up once-great champion to come back and get hurt. And that obviously would not be good for De La Hoya either.

Maybe De La Hoya doesn't recall all the times -- so many of them -- when he vowed that once he did retire, he would stay retired. He made it a point to say -- over and over -- that he didn't want to be like Sugar Ray Leonard, who seemed to retire and unretire all the time.

De La Hoya didn't just tweet his interest in returning. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya's close friend and business partner, told me after Saturday's Hopkins-Dawson show that De La Hoya had also told him he wanted to come back.

"Don't know, but I think he might give it one more," Schaefer said.

I suggested to Schaefer that it might not be a good idea.

His response was, "Just always remember -- sports is entertainment, and when it comes to entertainment, Oscar is No. 1. No question about it. There are a lot of other people in boxing who, frankly, should retire before Oscar does -- from promoters to refs to judges.

"If Oscar really wants it, and devotes himself 1,000 percent, he can still beat anyone. I really believe that from the bottom of my heart."

I can understand Schaefer's wishful believing. And I can understand De La Hoya's desire. He's still a young man at 38 and probably wrestling with what he should do with the rest of his life beyond being a promotional company figurehead.

Besides, Golden Boy Promotions could certainly use the injection of the millions that a De La Hoya fight would probably generate. The company has no bankable pay-per-view stars under contract.

But as Bozella said himself after his victory when explaining why Saturday's fight would be his only one, "It's a young man's game."

De La Hoya, at 38, is young in life. In boxing years, however, he is an old man -- one that, hopefully, will have second thoughts.