“The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya!
Oscar De La Hoya (/deɪləˈhɔɪ.ə/; born February 4, 1973), is an American former professional boxer who, in 2002, also became a boxing promoter and, in 2018, a mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter. As a boxer, he competed from 1992 to 2008, winning 11 world titles in six weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes. He is ranked as the 13th best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by BoxRec. De La Hoya was nicknamed “The Golden Boy of boxing” by the media when he represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics where, shortly after having graduated from James A. Garfield High School, he won a gold medal in the lightweight division, and reportedly “set a sport back on its feet.”
De La Hoya was named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 1995, and was its top-rated fighter in the world, pound for pound, in 1997 and 1998. De La Hoya generated approximately $700 million in pay-per-view income, making him the top pay-per-view earner before being surpassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. He announced his retirement as a fighter in 2009, following a professional career spanning 16 years.
In 2002, De La Hoya founded Golden Boy Promotions, a combat sport promotional firm that also owns a 25% stake in the Houston Dynamo. He is the first American of Mexican descent to own a national boxing promotional firm, and one of the few boxers to take on promotional responsibilities while still active. In 2018, he began promoting MMA matches as well, beginning with a 2018 trilogy bout between long-time rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, with the inaugural Golden Boy MMA event scheduled for November 24, 2018.
De La Hoya has held dual American and Mexican citizenship since 2002, when the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles granted him Mexican citizenship, reflecting his heritage.
De La Hoya won the national Junior Olympics 119-pound title at age 15, After he lost a tournament in Whittier to Leon Hernandez from Santa Monica he won the 125-pound title the following year. His amateur career included 234 wins — 163 by knockout, and six losses. Of those six losses, two were to Shane Mosley. In 1989, he won the National Golden Gloves title in the bantamweight division. In 1990, at age 17, he won the U.S. National Championship at featherweight and was the youngest U.S. boxer at that year’s Goodwill Games, winning a gold medal. The joy of victory was tempered by the news that his mother, Cecilia Gonzales De La Hoya (November 22, 1950 – October 28, 1990), was terminally ill with breast cancer. She died that October, expressing the hope that her son would one day become an Olympic gold medalist.
As the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona approached, De La Hoya turned his mother’s dream into a strong focus for his training. After an upset victory in the first round over the Mexican boxer Julio Gonzalez; De La Hoya defeated German boxer Marco Rudolph to win gold. Rudolph had been the only fighter to defeat him in the last several years, adding drama. The U.S. media publicized his quest to fulfill his mother’s dying wish and nicknamed him, “The Golden Boy”, which has remained with him throughout his career. In 2000, the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center was formally opened by De La Hoya and his siblings at the White Memorial Medical Center (WMMC), with a $350,000 donation from De La Hoya, in honor of their mother.
On November 23, 1992, De La Hoya made his professional debut by scoring a first-round TKO victory. In his twelfth professional fight, he won his first world title at age 20, stopping Jimmy Bredahl (16–0) in the tenth round to win the WBOsuper featherweight title. He defended the title once, stopping Giorgio Campanella (20–0) in three rounds.