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De La Hoya, 47, caught McGregor’s attention following a recent appearance on CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast. When asked how he’d fare in a hypothetical boxing match against the Irish-born McGregor, De La Hoya said he would win within two rounds. McGregor, who has just one career professional boxing match to his name, was quick to respond.
“I accept your challenge, Oscar de la Hoya,” McGregor tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
While De La Hoya hasn’t fought professionally in more than a decade, he amassed a dominant 39-6 record during his career and won multiple titles. De La Hoya has transitioned to a career as a promoter, founding “Golden Boy Promotions.”
Even in retirement, De La Hoya said he was confident in a quick win over McGregor.
"Two rounds," De La Hoya told the “State of Combat” podcast. "Oh come on, brother. Two rounds. One thing about me is I went for the kill, always. Look, Conor McGregor -- I love him in the Octagon, I respect him, I watch him all the time. But the boxing ring is a whole different story, it's a whole different story."
McGregor's match against undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, a former De La Hoya rival, in 2017 ranks as one of the top-selling fights in the sport’s history. McGregor lost in the 10th round via technical knockout, but earned an estimated $100 million in the process.
At present, it’s unclear if or when the banter between McGregor and De La Hoya will escalate into actual discussions on a bout. McGregor last fought professionally at UFC 246 in January, when he defeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by knockout in less than one minute.