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THE GOLDEN BOY PERSONAL

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Wed, 24 Sep 2008



Oscar De La Hoya, the most influential person in the boxing world today, hails from a family of boxers. His grandfather Vicente, father Joel Sr., and brother Joel Jr. were all boxers, but it was Oscar?s career which soared high to world superstardom.

De la Hoya was born on February 4, 1973, in Los Angeles, California. His parents migrated to the United States from Mexico before he was born. Oscar took up boxing seriously at the tender age of six. His idol was Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Leonard, who became a boxing icon after the 1976 Summer Olympics before turning professional and became the first boxer to win titles in five divisions, from welterweight to light heavyweight. Later on, Oscar followed his idol by winning titles in five weight categories at a younger age of 28.

De La Hoya was awarded as The Ring Magazine's "Fighter of the Year" in 1995 and was The Ring Magazine's number one Pound for Pound fighter in the world in 1997. He has defeated seventeen former world champions including Jimmy Bredahl, Jorge Paez, John-John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija, Julio Cesar Chavez, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Arturo Gatti, Ike "Bazooka" Quartey, Javier Castillejo, Luis Ramon Campas, Fernando Vargas, Felix Sturm, and Ricardo Mayorga.

The Golden Boy has since then won ten world titles in six different weight classes. He has also earned more money than any other boxer in the history of the sport. His amateur career record includes 223 wins, 163 by way of knockout, with only 5 losses. He won the United States' only boxing gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, by knocking down his opponent Marco Rudolph of Germany; a win which he dedicated to his deceased mother who dreamed of him someday winning the Olympic gold. Thus he used the nickname ?Golden Boy? when he turned professional.

His amateur achievement include winning as 1989 Gold Medalist National Golden Gloves, 1990 Gold Medalist US National Championships, 1990 Gold Medalist Goodwill Games, 1991 Gold Medalist US National Championships, 1991 Gold Medalist US Olympic Festival, 1992 Gold Medalist World Championships Challenge, and his greatest amateur triumph as 1992 Gold Medalist Barcelona Olympic Games.

He has a professional record of 39 wins and 5 losses, 30 victories by KO. His five losses were dealt by Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley (twice), Bernard Hopkins, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

De la Hoya garnered such world titles in the WBO junior lightweight, WBO lightweight, IBF lightweight, WBC junior welterweight, WBC welterweight, IBA welterweight, WBC junior middleweight, WBA junior middleweight, IBA junior middleweight, and WBO middleweight divisions.

De La Hoya is also the founder of the very popular Golden Boy Promotions, a combat sport promotional firm. He is the first American of Hispanic descent to own a nationwide and now internationally known promotional firm. He is one of only a few of boxers in history who have taken on promotional ventures while still active as a fighter.

His splendid looks and irrefutable talent made De La Hoya a big hit with fans and the media in his entire career. Outside the ring, he gained respect from many for his charity and community services and establishing a non-profit foundation and a youth boxing center in his old East Los Angeles neighborhood.

In 2000, De La Hoya released his first album, in both English and Spanish, entitled Oscar, and the album became number one in Latin dance charts and a single 'Ven a Mi,' was nominated for a Grammy Award. He married Puerto Rican singer Millie Corretjer in 2001.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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