|Oscar De La Hoya|
|Born||Feb. 4, 1973
East Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Oscar De La Hoya is a famous retired American boxer. He is of Mexican descent and has been nicknamed “The Golden Boy.” He won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics just shortly after he graduated from high school.
Oscar founded Golden Boy Promotions, which is a combat sport promotional firm. He is also the first American of Hispanic descent to be the owner of a national boxing promotional company. He is also one amongst few boxers to be involved in promotional responsibilities while still active in boxing.
Oscar was born on February 4, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. His parents moved to the U.S. from Mexico before Oscar was born. Boxing was a very common thread in Oscar’s family as his dad was a professional boxer in the 1960s and his grandfather was an amateur fighter in 1940s.
At the age of six, Oscar started boxing. As a young man, he always admired Sugar Ray Leonard who became a celebrity after the 1976 Summer Olympics. Leonard was also the first boxer to win titles in five divisions ranging from the welterweight to light heavyweight divisions.
Beginning a Boxing Career
When Oscar turned 15, he won the national Junior Olympic 119-pound title. The following year, he took home the 125-pound title. In 1990, he won the national Golden Gloves title in the 125-pound division and he was the youngest U.S. boxer at that year’s Goodwill Games where he won a gold medal. The same year he lost his mother. In 1991, USA Boxing named Oscar the Boxer of the year following his win at the U.S. amateur boxing tournament.
Career as a Super Featherweight
In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Oscar defeated Marco Rudolph from Germany. He won the gold medal and became the only U.S. boxer to take a medal from Barcelona. In the same year, Oscar won his first professional fight in a first-round knockout of Lamar Williams in California. Oscar managed to compile a very successful record during his first year as a professional boxer.
On March 5, 1994, Oscar won his first professional title – the junior lightweight championship of WBO. He won via a technical knockout of the Danish fighter Jimmi Bredahl in the tenth round. After four months, Oscar captured the WBO lightweight title after knocking out Jorge Paez in the second round.
In 1995, after his victory over John Molina, the IBF junior lightweight champion, Oscar knocked out Rafael Ruelas in less than five minutes. After this victory, he won the IBF lightweight title to bring his record to 18-0.
De La Hoya vs. Chavez
In June of 1996, Oscar was faced by one of his greatest challenges when he faced Julio Chavez. Chavez was an experienced and very popular Mexican fighter. He was also the reigning WBC junior welterweight champion. In the fight, Oscar pummeled Chavez with blows and even opened a cut above the champion’s eye. The officials stopped the fight in the fourth round and declared Oscar the winner.
Fighting in Other Divisions
On March 12, 1997, Oscar moved up to the welterweight division and fought Pernell Whitaker. This proved to be a difficult fight, but Oscar won a disputed twelve-round unanimous decision. He captured the WBC and Lineal titles. He was also ranked number one pound-for-pound fighter by Ring Magazine.
On September 13 of the same year, he defeated Hector Camacho via a unanimous decision. In September of 1998, he faced Julio Cesar Chavez for the second time and won via technical knockout.
Oscar then moved to the light-middleweight division and challenged the Lineal/WBC champion – Javier Castillejo. Oscar dominated the fight, winning almost every round. He then knocked down Javier within 10 seconds to win the title via a unanimous decision.
De La Hoya vs. Vargas
For about 15 months, Oscar did not fight. During this time, the rivalry between him and the WBA champion, Fernando Vargas, grew. A fight between the two took place on September 14, 2002. The fight was even for the first six rounds. Oscar took over this fight in the seventh round and ended up hurting Vargas. In the eighth round, Oscar knocked down Vargas with a left hook and stopped after a few moments. Oscar won the fight and this is considered to be the biggest win of his career.
Boxing as a Middleweight
On June 5, 2004, Oscar faced Felix Sturm for the WBO middleweight title. He won this fight via a unanimous decision. On September 18, 2004, he faced Bernard Hopkins who held the WBA, WBC, and IBF middleweight titles. Oscar lost this fight, but he won $30 million for it.
On May 5, 2007, Oscar faced Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and was defeated. On December 6, 2008, he faced Manny Pacquiao who also defeated him.
On March 24, 2012, Oscar De La Hoya announced his retirement from boxing.