If Oscar De La Hoya is truly serious about coming out of retirement, count Gennady Golovkin in.
De La Hoya, the former six-division titleholder and International Boxing Hall of Famer, told ESPN.com on Monday that he is "50-50" about ending his nearly seven-year retirement. He said he wanted to fight either a rematch with Floyd Mayweather (who won split decision against him in a 2007 junior middleweight championship fight) or face middleweight titlist Golovkin.
The 42-year-old De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) said he has his eyes on those two because they are "the best," although for a variety of reasons a rematch with Mayweather is almost entirely out of the question. A fight with Golovkin would be easily makeable.
Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) is one of boxing's best fighters, but has struggled to find a big name willing to fight him despite his best efforts. He was pleased to hear of De La Hoya's interest for a fight that would have to be named "The Golden Boy vs. The Good Boy."
"I have a great deal of respect for Oscar," Golovkin told ESPN.com on Monday night. "He was a great champion and a huge star in the sport.
"If he decides to fight me, I'm ready as soon as possible. It would be another big drama show."
De La Hoya stipulated that if he was to fight Golovkin, who has knocked out 20 opponents in a row, the match would have to happen at 154 pounds, not at 160, where Golovkin holds a title. Golovkin said he would be willing to make that concession in order to make the fight.
K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, also said he would welcome the fight.
"This would be similar to Sugar Ray Leonard coming out of his retirement to face Marvin Hagler and would be a very big promotion," Loeffler said.
De La Hoya said when he thinks about ending his retirement he thinks about what Leonard did against Hagler.
"I think about Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler," De La Hoya said. "If [Leonard] could do it why can't I? We both come from similar situations. We are both hungry for the competition, we're both ambitious."
In 1987, Leonard, one of the great fighters in boxing history and a multi-divisional world champion and Olympic gold medalist like De La Hoya, ended a nearly three-year retirement to move up in weight and challenge then-middleweight champion Hagler. Leonard won a split decision in one of boxing's biggest upsets.