De La Hoya hints at retirement

2009-02-27 07:47

Houston - Oscar De La Hoya says he's "leaning toward retirement" from boxing, but is getting pressure from people close to him to fight again.

De La Hoya, who turned 36 this month, was soundly beaten by Manny Pacquiao in December, his fourth loss in his last seven fights. America's biggest and most bankable boxing star was in Houston on Thursday to promote Saturday's lightweight championship fight between Juan Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez.

De La Hoya (39-6) appeared sluggish after dropping weight to fight Pacquiao at 147 pounds (67 kilograms), and said his poor performance is the most compelling reason he'd return to the ring.

"I'm actually, at this point, a little bit confused on what I'm going to do," he said. "Here I am, ready to make my decision, saying, 'OK, you know what? I'm going to hang up the gloves. I think I'm ready.' But then I have people - a lot of people - telling me, 'Wait, that wasn't you against Manny.'

"Everybody wants to try to bring up excuses on what happened, and then it starts changing your mind. It starts pulling you back in. I just want to make sure I make the correct decision before I make the final one."

De La Hoya said his wife, Millie, has tried to convince him to retire, mostly for the sake of their two children.

"When you have your wife telling you - not every day - but reminding you, 'Look, you have kids who look up to you, who want to spend a lot of time with you, who don't want to see their father in bad shape,"' he said, "it makes you think."

De La Hoya has generated more money than any boxer in history, but he's not sure if he's mentally ready to undertake another round of rigorous training just for the sake of one more big payday.