Name: Oscar De La Hoya
Nickname: "The Golden Boy"
Weight Class: Junior Middleweight
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
sfc's J. Middle Rating 1st (Current Champion)
sfc's Pound for Pound Ranking: 4th
Official Website www.oscardelahoya.com
Oscar De La Hoya was born into a "boxing family" and was introduced to the sport at a very young age. Through most of his youth he rejected boxing and violence in general. His brother, Joel, was considered to be the real prospect in the family. When Oscar's father finally forced him into the sport he quickly fell in love with it though.
Besides Boxing, Oscar De La Hoya's life was also heavily influenced by music. In the middle of his boxing career he would record a Grammy nominated Latin album.
He's called "The Golden Boy" for a good reason. Oscar is good looking and great in interviews. He is always very positive and respectful of his opponents (even when they hate him).
Besides Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, De La Hoya is the biggest draw in Boxing.
Amateurs: Oscar's amateur record was 223-5 with 163 KOs culminating in a trip to the 1992 Olympics for the US Team. Oscar dedicated himself to winning the gold for his recently deceased mother. Oscar's final opponent had beat him in an earlier tournament at the Super Featherweight class. This time around though Oscar won decisively.
Early Career: Oscar began his profesional Boxing career later that year. Within a year he racked up 11 wins and a chance at the WBO Super Featherweight title against Johnny Bredahl who he defeated in the tenth round by TKO. At the age of 20 Oscar had already captured his first World Title.
vs. Rafael Ruelas: Oscar, who has always loved a challenge, quickly moved up to the Lightweight class and defeated Jorge Paez for the vacant WBO Lightweight title. 10 months later he added the IBF Lightweight title by TKOing Rafael Ruelas.
vs. Pernell Whitaker: "The Golden Boy" didn't stay at Lightweight long and moved up to Jr. Welterweight against Boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez. Chavez (in his 100th pro fight!) was well beyound his prime and took a beating at the hands of De La Hoya. This led to a fight (now at Welterweight!) with a well conditioned Pernell Whitaker, one of the greatest fighters ever. Oscar would come out triumphant with a tough controversial 12 round decision.
vs. Ike Quartey: Oscar continued fighting at Welterweight (a talent rich class at the time), coming out ahead in tough fights with Hector "Macho" Camacho, Wilfredo Rivera and Julio Cesar Chavez again. There werent' many fighters left in the weight class but Ike Quartey was one of the best. Oscar would be knocked down once and Quartey twice during the grueling fight. In the end, De La Hoya won a close split decision.
vs. Felix Trinidad: De La Hoya next took on tough Oba Carr before facing the Puerto Rican star Felix Trinidad. This was a defining moment for both fighters. De La Hoya would dominate the early part of the fight (and create a blueprint for defeating Trinidad that Bernard Hopkins would later execute perfectly). But in the late rounds (at the advice of his corner) Oscar backed off and almost ran from Trinidad. This angered and disappointed many of his fans and the judges agreed. Oscar was handed his first defeat in a majority decision.
vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley: Oscar quickly got back into gear though. In his next fight he regained his WBC Welterweight title (vacated by Trinidad who moved up to J. Middleweight) by KOing Derrell Coley in 7 rounds. De La Hoya, a true warrior, then immediately took on another rising star: Shane Mosley. In another tough fight Oscar found himself on the other end of a split decision. Losses to Trinidad and now Mosley were started to seriously erode De La Hoya's "Golden Boy" image.
vs. Fernando Vargas: When De La Hoya returned to Boxing did he take on some light competition to start with? No way! Instead he moved up in weight class (following Trinidad to J. Middle) and fought tough as nails Arturo Gatti and TKO'd him in 5 rounds. He followed that up by winning the WBC J. Middleweight Title in a unanimous decision against Javier Castillejo. Meanwhile Fernando Vargas had his eyes set on De La Hoya. The tough Mexican truely seemed to hate De La Hoya. Their fight, billed as "Bad Blood", would once again reestablish Oscar as one of the most important fighters in Boxing and the sport's true "Golden Boy". The early rounds were back and forth with Oscar outboxing Vargas and Vargas driving him into the ropes and pounding him. As the fight wore on though De La Hoya edged ahead and starting landing more. At the end of tenth round Oscar landed a blow that shook Vargas to the core. His cornerman screamed at him to "wake up" but it was all over for Vargas. 1 minute into the 11th round Vargas took a devastating left hook and was sent to the mat. Also a true warrior, Vargas got up but was beaten into the corner until the ref stopped the fight.
Oscar displays a great combination of high Boxing skill, sufficient power and tremendous heart. Besides his loss to Trinidad, Oscar has always displayed a very strong will to win.
Oscar has no obvious flaws. He has a strong chin and good defense. If anything, he may not be powerful enough to fight at a higher weight class.
One of the great things about De La Hoya is that he always wants to fight the best. After defeating Vargas he immediately called out Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad and number #1 contender "Winky" Wright. The only person he doesn't seem gung-ho about fighting is Middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins. De La Hoya is sure to be in several more major fights.
Last Updated: October 1, 2002
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