Once upon a time, Eminem was supposed to play the leading role in a boxing drama called Southpaw. It didn’t ultimately work out—Jake Gyllenhaal ended up landing the role of Billy Hope instead—but Em recorded a song for the movie’s soundtrack. And despite not starring in the film, Em has actually maintained a pretty close connection to the boxing world over the last 20 years or so.
In the late 1990s, the rapper appeared on a music video show called Combat Zone in Canada and took part in a lighthearted boxing match that quickly spiraled out of control:
He also spent some time training with legendary boxing trainer Emanuel Steward in the 2000s:
And who can forget the time Em knocked out Vince in an episode of Entourage?
OK, so technically that didn’t have anything to do with boxing. But still! He looked like a guy who could pack a punch.
And according to Oscar De La Hoya, Em can pack quite a punch when he gets into the ring. De La Hoya made an appearance on DJ Whoo Kid’s Shade 45 show this week, and he was randomly asked if he’s ever seen Em box. He said that he has, and then he spent a few minutes praising Em for being a formidable boxer. De La Hoya said he was impressed with what he’s seen him do in the past.
"The late great Emanuel Steward, who trained me for about four or five fights, he once showed me a video where he was training Eminem," De La Hoya said. "And man, he has some moves. He was punching the hand mitts, and he was moving. He looked really good actually with a lot of power."
Whoo Kid suggested De La Hoya should sign Em to his promotional company. And while De La Hoya balked at that idea, he said he would be down to take part in a celebrity boxing match against him.
"We can do a charity box-off together," he said. "I can come down in weight."
He also refused to compare Em’s boxing skills to Chris Brown or Soulja Boy’s skills during the interview.
"No, no, Eminem can fight," he said. "He can fight. We don’t want none of that stuff."
Check out the clip at the top to see De La Hoya’s entire interview with Whoo Kid.