SAKIO Bika has issued a challenge to Oscar De La Hoya and hopes to tee up a bout with the boxing hall-of-famer later this year.
Bika announced his return to the big time with a unanimous points decision over Sam Soliman at a sold out Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night.
After beating Soliman in a brutal contest, Bika declared he wanted to take on the former American champion, who revealed this week he was planning a comeback.
De La Hoya was one of a host of stars to heap praise on Bika in a documentary - Le Champion - released last year about the Cameroon boxer's life.
"Sakio doesn't run, he doesn't move side to side, he will fight you head on. One punch can end it all with Sakio Bika," Oscar De La Hoya said in the film.
Bika, 41, has lived in Newcastle for the past four years and put on a show for his home town as part of the undercard on the Steel City Showdown headlined by Tim Tszyu.
In his first bout since 2017, Bika landed the best shots, including a couple of huge rights in the final round.
Solimon somehow stayed on his feet but he was clearly out boxed by Bika.
In a war or attrition, Soliman landed some telling blows on Bika, who suffered a cut above his left eye earlu in the fight.
But the further the fight went, the stronger Bika looked.
It was the third bout between the veteran fighters, but the first at catchweight (75kg). The ledger had been equal at one apiece. Soliman was the victor in Melbourne in 2002 and Bika reversed the result in the US television series The Contender in 2007.
Fellow Novocastran Darkon Dryden knocked out Jason Medawar in the second round.
However it was a disappointing night for Tyson Lantry, who lost his bout to the undefeated Paul Fleming with a TKO in the seventh round.