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Oscar De La Hoya was born on February 4, 1973 in East Los Angeles. His parents immigrated to the US from Mexico. Oskar Hoel’s father worked in a warehouse for a company that produced climate equipment, and his mother Cecilia was a seamstress. There were two more children in the family: older brother Hoel and younger sister Cesi.

Boxing was commonplace for the De La Hoya family: his paternal grandfather Vincent was an amateur boxer, and his father competed in the professional ring for a while. In one of his interviews, Oscar De La Hoya said: “Boxing has always been in me for as long as I can remember. He easily entered my life, and I have enjoyed him since I started at the age of six. The family assumed that Hoel, as the older brother, would continue the family boxing tradition. Oscar himself noted that his candidacy was practically not considered. His brother Hoel also did not imagine then that Oscar would become a boxer: “Oscar did not like conflicts, he never fought in the street,” recalls Hoel. He preferred to skate around the house and play baseball in the park. No aggression.”

The beginning of a boxing career

For the first time, De La Hoya entered the ring, where his father brought him, at the age of six, in a fight against a neighbor’s boy and won. De La Hoya later recalled: “Every time I won a fight my cousins, aunts and uncles gave me money. Now a dollar, then fifteen cents, then half a dollar. At the age of 11, he was already winning tournaments. Soon De La Hoya began training at the Resurrection Boy’s Club Gym with trainer Al Stankey, who trained another Los Angeles boxer, Olympic gold medalist Paul Gonzales. De La Hoya’s career began to develop rapidly. At the age of 15, he won the national championship among juniors in the weight up to 53.97 kg, and a year later, he won the Golden Gloves tournament in the weight up to 56.7 kg.

In 1990, when Oscar was seventeen years old, he won the 56.7 kg US Championship and won the Goodwill Games, where he was the youngest American boxer. At the end of this tournament, De La Hoya found out that his mother had cancer. She wanted to keep her illness a secret until after the Goodwill Games so that her son could concentrate on the competition. In October 1990, Cecilia died of breast cancer at the age of 38. She always hoped her son would win the Olympics, and her premature death gave De La Hoya a clear goal for the next two years.

Victory at the Olympic Games

De La Hoya continued to perform successfully in the amateur ring. In 1991, he won the national championship in the weight category up to 59.87 kg and was named boxer of the year. During this time, De La Hoya changed coaches as Stanky’s drinking problem worsened. His new mentor was Robert Alcazar, a former boxer who worked with Joel De La Hoya Sr.

Although Oscar easily made the US Olympic team, no one expected him to go beyond the first round of the Olympic tournament. His first opponent was Cuban Julio Gonzalez, a 27-year-old four-time world lightweight champion. De La Hoya won the fight 7-2, and the Cuban’s loss was later cited as the biggest disappointment of the Olympics. His second fight with the Korean Hong Sung Sik was equal – De La Hoya won by one point. De La Hoya then defeated Edilson Silva, Dimitro Tonchev, and in the final defeated Marco Rudolf of Germany, the same boxer he had lost to in the World Championship final a year earlier. He controlled the course of the entire fight, and in the third round he knocked down Rudolph with a powerful left punch, and the referee was forced to stop the meeting. De La Hoya became very popular at the Olympics after the press circulated his story about a son who is trying to fulfill a promise made to a dying mother. However, his victory surprised everyone. After the victory, De La Hoya walked around the ring with the flags of the United States and Mexico. He told Los Angeles Magazine, “The American flag was in honor of my country, and the Mexican flag was in honor of my ancestors.” After this achievement, De La Hoya was nicknamed the “Golden Boy” and this nickname stuck with him for life.

The beginning of a professional career

The Olympics was the last event of De La Hoya’s amateur career. He finished his performances in the amateur ring with a track record of 223 wins and 5 losses, with an amazing number of knockouts – 153 (according to other sources – 163). After the Olympics, De La Hoya decided to turn professional. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he said: “I won gold for my mom. The championship title will be for me.” On September 4, 1992, he signed a $1 million contract (at the time, the largest amount paid to a debutant) with New York agents Robert Mittleman and Steve Nelson. The deal included buying a house for his family in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello, a nice step up from the Hispanic neighborhood in which he grew up.

De La Hoya made his professional debut on November 23, 1992. His opponent Lamar Williams did not manage to last even a round. The same fate awaited his next opponent, Cliff Hicks. In 1993, De La Hoya won nine fights, most of them by knockout. Unlike most young boxers who start their careers with weak opponents, De La Hoya immediately began to meet with quite serious opponents, among whom, in particular, was the Mexican champion Narcisco Valenzuela. In December 1993, De La Hoya ended his contract with Mittleman and Nelson because he wanted more control over his career. Instead, he chose to use the help of his father, his cousin Gerardo Salas, and Los Angeles consultant Reinaldo Garza. At the same time, De La Hoya signed a three-year contract with Bob Arum,

In March 1993, in his twelfth fight, Oscar entered the ring against WBO super lightweight champion Johnny Bredal and beat him for ten rounds until the doctor ordered the fight to be stopped. After defending the title once, De La Hoya moved up to the next weight class and defeated former world champion Jorge Paez in a duel for the vacant WBO lightweight title. On May 6, 1995, he captured the IBF lightweight title by defeating Rafael Ruelas. Oscar continued to win, but an earlier fight against Juan Molina made De La Hoya question his strategy. Although he won the fight with a knockdown, De La Hoya was disarmed by Molina’s style and felt he needed a more experienced coach. In February 1995, De La Hoya replaced family friend Robert Alcazar who was his coach, Jesús “Professor” Rivera. Rivera’s doctrine was to develop the boxer as a person, both in and out of the ring. He encouraged De La Hoya to develop by reading books and listening to classical music.

The image of the “Golden Boy”

De La Hoya’s career was built not only due to professional achievements, but also due to popularity among journalists. His good looks, story of a poor boy who became famous, and personal charm made him one of the most famous and popular boxers. He was confident, ambitious and successful. “I want to make history. I want to win seven world titles in seven weight divisions from 130 to 168 pounds,” he once said in an interview with Sport magazine. In an issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, he revealed his secret formula for success: dedication, discipline, and desire. De La Hoya capitalized on his “Golden Boy” image by landing lucrative contracts with HBO to show his fights. He also made a lot of money advertising sportswear and other products.

However, De La Hoya’s success did not make him popular among part of the Hispanic diaspora. In fact, one of his greatest successes in the ring contributed to his decline in popularity. In 1996, De La Hoya defeated the famous Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, his childhood idol, in a brutal fight for the WBC light welterweight title (the fight was stopped due to a severe cut on Chavez). For Chavez, this was the 100th fight in the professional ring, and many Latin Americans were upset by the defeat of their idol. On top of that, De La Hoya was called a “traitor” for his wealth. He moved from the Hispanic neighborhood to the affluent suburbs and spent his free time at country clubs or golf courses. He was accused of forgetting his roots. A 1996 article in Esquire magazine wrote: “The contradictions that make up Oscar De La Hoya: a good guy in a dangerous business, a new star in a constellation of old ones, Mexican by blood, American by preference, born in a Hispanic neighborhood but prefers country clubs.” De La Hoya’s personal life also caused a lot of negative feedback in the press. He was engaged several times, had two illegitimate children and was subpoenaed in the case of paying alimony to his ex-fiancee Shanna Moukler.

First defeat

Despite controversy outside the ring, De La Hoya continued to win in 1997 and 1998. He added another belt to his collection by defeating Pernell Whitaker for the WBC welterweight title on April 12, 1997. However, his victorious march was stopped at the end of 1999. On September 18, 1999, in a highly anticipated fight, De La Hoya lost his WBC welterweight title to Felix Trinidad. Instead of fighting the usual power fight, De La Hoya circled around Trinidad, which did not impress the judges at all. “I’ve already proven that I can take on anyone, but this time I wanted to do a boxing show,” he told Sports Illustrated. “I think I learned the lesson of a lifetime.” In fact, De La Hoya just gave away his title. Sports Illustrated commented: “Trinidad’s victory was not his merit,

De La Hoya bounced back from defeat with a knockout win over Darrell Cowley in February 2000. However, in June of the same year, he suffered another defeat from his old friend Shane Moseley. Frustrated by two major defeats, De La Hoya decided to take a break and devote time to his other passion, singing.

other hobbies

Interest in singing De La Hoya instilled in his mother, who often sang Latin American songs. On October 10, 2000, De La Hoya released his debut album through EMI Latin. It was a collection of love ballads in two languages ​​and included the single “Ven a Mi” (Run to me) written by the Bee Gees. “In a way, this album pays tribute to my Mexican and Latin American roots, but it also represents America, and not just because I was born here,” De La Hoya told Billboard magazine. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award.

In October 2001, an important event in the life of De La Hoya took place – he married Puerto Rican singer Milla Corretier. The marriage was secret and took place in Puerto Rico. Also in 2001, De La Hoya created his own promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions. In addition, he organized a fund to support Olympic hopes and rebuilt the gym in Los Angeles, where he once started boxing.

Return to the ring

In 2001, at the age of 28, De La Hoya returned to the ring. He defeated popular boxer Arturo Gatti and then won the WBC junior middleweight title against Javier Castillejo. After defeating Castellejo, De La Hoya became the youngest boxer to become world champion in five weight divisions and joined the famous boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns in this achievement.

His fight on September 14 against WBA champion Fernando Vargas was undoubtedly one of the best of his entire career. It was known that these boxers do not have any sympathy for each other. This fact fueled interest in the fight even more. The fight got tough. The denouement came in the 11th round. Oscar started quite aggressively and, after a series of strong blows, knocked down Vargas with his signature left hook. The duel was continued, but Vargas could no longer resist. And after De La Hoya cornered him, referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight.

After this significant victory, the boxing world started talking about a rematch with Shane Moseley. And in fact, after a “warm-up” fight with the Mexican Ramon Campas, De La Hoya entered the ring against Moseley. The match took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 13, 2003. Throughout the fight, Oscar fought tactically, throwing far more punches than his opponent. Before the announcement of the result, the boxing world literally froze and … the victory for the second time was awarded to Shane Moseley. All judges recorded his superiority with a score of 115-113.
Considering himself the winner in this fight, De La Hoya did not take a long break for recovery and outlined another goal for himself. He decides to move up another category to face perennial undisputed middleweight title holder Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins.

Seven months after losing to Shane Moseley, De La Hoya faced WBO middleweight champion Felix Sturm of Germany. In a rather tense fight, Oscar won by a controversial but unanimous decision.

On September 18, 2004, the fight with Hopkins took place. For six rounds, the “Golden Boy” fought with a much superior opponent in physical strength on an equal footing, but then Hopkins gradually began to build up the advantage. The fight was stopped 1 minute 38 seconds into the ninth round after a crushing blow to the liver by Bernard Hopkins. But even this defeat can be regarded as a victory. De La Hoya once again proved that he carries the heart of a champion in his chest, and that it is too early for his fans to “bury” him, as he is full of energy and is not going to hang gloves on a nail.

Oscar De La Hoya Career Full Fight Videos

01 1992-11-23 Lamar Williams 5-1-1 Inglewood, USA

02 1992-12-12 Clifford Hicks 13-6-0 Phoenix, USA

03 1993-01-03 Paris Alexander 15-6-2 Hollywood, USA

04 1993-02-06 Curtis Strong 14-6-2 San Diego, USA

05 1993-03-13 Jeff Mayweather 23-2-2 Las Vegas, USA

06 1993-04-06 Mike Grable 13-1-2 Rochester, USA

07 1993-05-08 Frank Avelar 15-3-0 Stateline, USA

08 1993-06-07 Troy Dorsey 13-7-4 Las Vegas, USA

09 1993-08-14 Renaldo Carter 27-4-1 Bay Saint Louis, USA

10 1993-08-27 Angelo Nunez 10-4-3 Beverly Hills, USA

11 1993-10-30 Narciso Valenzuela 35-13-2 Phoenix, USA

12 1994-03-05 Jimmy Bredahl 16-0-0 Los Angeles, USA
WBO Super Featherweight Title

13 1994-05-27 Giorgio Campanella 20-0-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBO Super Featherweight Title

14 1994-07-29 Jorge Paez 53-6-4 Las Vegas, USA
Vacant WBO Lightweight Title

15 1994-11-18 Carl Griffith 28-3-2 Las Vegas, USA
WBO Lightweight Title

16 1994-12-10 John Avila 20-1-1 Los Angeles, USA
WBO Lightweight Title

17 1995-02-18 John John Molina 36-3-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBO Lightweight Title

18 1995-05-06 Rafael Ruelas 43-1-0 Las Vegas, USA
IBF Lightweight Title
WBO Lightweight Title

19 1995-09-09 Genaro Hernandez 32-0-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBO Lightweight Title

20 1995-12-15 Jesse James Leija 30-1-2 New York City, USA
WBO Lightweight Title

21 1996-02-09 Darryl Tyson 47-8-1 Las Vegas, USA

22 1996-06-07 Julio Cesar Chavez 96-1-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Welterweight Title

23 1997-01-18 Miguel Angel Gonzalez 41-0-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Welterweight Title

24 1997-04-12 Pernell Whitaker 40-1-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

25 1997-06-14 David Kamau 28-1-0 San Antonio, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

26 1997-09-13 Hector Camacho 63-3-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

27 1997-12-06 Wilfredo Rivera 27-2-1 Atlantic City, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

28 1998-06-13 Patrick Charpentier 27-4-1 El Paso, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

29 1998-09-18 Julio Cesar Chavez 100-2-2 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

30 1999-02-13 Ike Quartey 34-0-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title e

31 1999-05-22 Oba Carr 48-2-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title

32 1999-09-18 Felix Trinidad 35-0-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Welterweight Title
IBF Welterweight Title

33 2000-02-26 Derrell Coley 34-1-2 New York City, USA

34 2000-06-17 Shane Mosley 34-0-0 Los Angeles, USA
WBC Welterweight Title
IBA Welterweight Title

35 2001-03-24 Arturo Gatti 33-4-0 Las Vegas, USA

36 2001-06-23 Javier Castillejo 51-4-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title

37 2002-09-14 Fernando Vargas 22-1-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title
WBA Light Middleweight Title
IBA Light Middleweight Title

38 2003-05-03 Luis Ramon Campas 80-5-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title
WBA Light Middleweight Title

39 2003-09-13 Shane Mosley 38-2-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title
WBA Light Middleweight Title
IBA Light Middleweight Title

40 2004-06-05 Felix Sturm 20-0-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBO Middleweight Title

41 2004-09-18 Bernard Hopkins 44-2-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Middleweight Title
IBF Middleweight Title
WBO Middleweight Title

42 2006-05-06 Ricardo Mayorga 28-5-1 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title

43 2007-05-05 Floyd Mayweather Jr 37-0-0 Las Vegas, USA
WBC Light Middleweight Title

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