Shaq

I Could’ve Beaten De La Hoya’s Ass

… ‘I Held Back’

5/20/2018 12:50 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

The Golden Boy ain’t gonna like this …

Shaq says he gave Oscar De La Hoya a pass when the two men fought back in 2009 … telling TMZ Sports he “held back” on ODLH because he didn’t REALLY want to beat up his friend. 

Oscar & Diesel squared off for his old TV show, “Shaq Vs.” where the big fella would go up against other pro athletes in their different sports … with awesome results. 

De La Hoya won via decision … but when we got O’Neal out in NYC he told our guy he basically took a dive.

“I held back ’cause he was my friend.”

Not everybody got the homie treatment though … Shaq told us he had another fight, this time with boxing great Sugar Shane Mosley where he “turned it up a little.”

We found the video — and yeah, Shaq hit Mosley with some REAL power shots and bullied him around the ring like a rag doll. 

Mosley ended up winning that fight in a 5-round decision (and hit Shaq with some power shots of his own) … but it’s clear Shaq was trying to send a message that he’s no joke when it comes to fighting. 

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