KEY POINTS

  • De La Hoya applauds Jake Paul for helping boost boxing's popularity
  • De La Hoya credits Mike Tyson for inspiring him to consider a ring return
  • De La Hoya needs to choose carefully who he will face if he does fight once more

Mike Tyson made his triumphant return to the boxing ring in November, an exhibition match with Roy Jones Jr. that ended in a draw.

In the same event, most saw the vicious knockout blow dealt by YouTuber Jake Paul on former NBA player Nate Robinson.

Of the two, most took notice of the 23-year-old’s win. Some even said that it was disrespecting the sport and actual boxers wanted a piece of the internet sensation.

Among those who criticized Jake Paul include Claressa Shields, Antonio Tarver and Canelo Alvarez.

But in the eyes of Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar De La Hoya, the efforts of Paul are good. It is helping boxing attract the attention it has not been getting for a long time.

“We’re appreciative of a Jake Paul who is a boxer now,” De La Hoya via Bloomberg. “He’s creating attention that boxing hasn’t seen in a long time.”

As most know, Paul’s older brother Logan is set to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in February. The undefeated boxer is a heavy favorite, but the obvious intent here is to raise the level of traction of the sport.

De La Hoya was also impressed with the return of Tyson to the ring. He says that Tyson’s comeback proved that age is just a number, inspiring him to consider doing the same.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that, for the first time in a long time, fans and people were congregating to watch an event. Mike Tyson is such an inspiration, he got in good shape and looked good,” De La Hoya explained.

However, De La Hoya may want to be careful about who he wants to pick a fight with. The name of Gennady Golovkin cropped up, something that the active boxer did not like.

Golovkin warned that De La Hoya may regret it and get seriously hurt.

For now, it may be best for the 47-year-old to plan a potential ring return carefully. Even if he admits that he misses it and feels he can take on anyone, it may be in his best interest to follow Tyson’s lead–that of which is to pick a fight with fighters who are past their prime or retired.

Boxing promoter De La Hoya smiles during a news conference at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas Boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya smiles during a news conference at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada April 7, 2011. Photo: REUTERS