Leading Off

Hit a bucket of balls, Oscar, and stay out of the ring

Don’t do it, Oscar.

Don’t climb back into the ring with boxing gloves strapped to your hands and think you can whip Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Stop listening to that voice in your head that keeps saying you can beat undefeated middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.

You’re Oscar De La Hoya.

You’re 42 years old.

You’ve been retired for seven years. You’re a multimillionaire. You have a beautiful wife and family. You finally have your health, living clean without drugs and drink.

Mostly, you have your legacy as one of the greatest boxers in history. You’re the “Golden Boy” – CEO of your own boxing promotion company.

OK, so you’ve been running eight miles and hitting the heavy bag for 12 rounds every day. You’re feeling great, you feel that fire again in your flat belly and you miss the action.

Even more, you probably miss taking a big slice of the pie from those lucrative pay-per-view bouts. C’mon, you see Mayweather walk away with $200 million for one night’s work against Manny Pacquiao and think, “I’m worth even more!”

You were, Oscar, but no más.

We last saw you in December 2008, sitting on a stool between rounds against Pacquiao. Through eight rounds he had battered your face red and puffy. When the referee called you out for Round 9, you just sat there. You quit, ending the fight, ending your career.

Your last win over a big-name opponent came in 2002 – a technical knockout of rival Fernando Vargas. You beat him like he owed you money.

Oscar, that was 13 years ago.

Of course Mayweather wants to fight you. He’s a businessman. He knows what kind of money – and circus atmosphere – a “rematch” of your 2007 loss to him could generate. But is all the money in Las Vegas worth being embarrassed?

Stop all this talk about a comeback, Oscar, and go hit a bucket of balls with your funny golf buddies, George Lopez and Cheech Marin.

Oh, and stop watching those Rocky Balboa movies.

Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527, @sacbeeevictor

Playbook

  • WHAT TO WATCH: Golf, U.S. Senior Open, FS1, 11 a.m.: The best senior golfers in the world have come to Sacramento to play at Del Paso Country Club.
  • TWITTER CHATTER: “I heard @OscarDeLaHoya is 50/50 on a comeback. I’m 100/0 that he shouldn’t. Father Time is still undefeated!”– @LennoxLewis
  • ON THIS DATE: On June 25, 2014, Tim Lincecum pitches his second no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in less than a year, allowing only one runner and leading the Giants to a 4-0 win.
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