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Manager claims Oscar De La Hoya turned down Anthony Pettis for comeback fight

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48-year-old Oscar De La hoya recently announced he is returning to the ring.

UFC 249, Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone.
Anthony Pettis before he fought Donald Cerrone at UFC 249.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is currently preparing for his PFL debut, as part of that promotion’s $1 million lightweight tournament. However, if his manager is to be believed, ‘Showtime’ tried to get in a quick circus fight before the PFL season starts next month.

First Round Management’s Malki Kawa said that he offered Pettis as a potential opponent for newly un-retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya (per bjpenn.com). Kawa said the 48-year-old former world champion and pound-for-pound great turned him down, though.

Kawa said that Pettis was willing to box De La Hoya in April, the same month he is due to face Clay Collard in the PFL season opener.

De La Hoya announced his return to competition at the press conference for Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren this week. De La Hoya’s last fight was against Manny Pacquiao, 13 years ago. Da La Hoya lost that bout after his corner stopped the contest after the 8th round.

The Pacquiao loss dropped De La Hoya’s record to 39-6. De La Hoya had been untouchable in the mid-to-late 90s, going 31-0 with memorable wins over Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker and Hector Camacho to earn world lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight titles.

His unbeaten streak was ended by Felix Trinidad in 1999. Despite the loss De La Hoya went on for a few major paydays in the early 2000s, including a blockbuster bout versus Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pettis’ lifted the UFC lightweight title after defeating Benson Henderson at UFC 164 in 2013. He won that bout with an armbar, making him 2-0 versus Henderson, whom he also beat for the WEC lightweight title in 2010 (where he used his famous ‘Showtime kick’).

Pettis defended his UFC title once, against Gilbert Melendez, before being defeated by Rafael dos Anjos.

After the RDA fight Pettis moved up and down in weight and struggled to find consistency. Since 2016 his record was 6-7 in the Octagon, taking his overall MMA record to 24-10. He ended his relationship with the UFC in 2020, while on a two fight win streak (with victories over Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono).