Oscar De La Hoya earned a gold medal, several professional championship belts, and is regarded as one of the best fighters in the world.
Oscar De La Hoya was a typical little kid from East LA who went to school and hung out with his friends. Many times, however, he would come home running when bullies would threaten him. He would hide in his bedroom in fear that his dad would find out. His father - Joel De La Hoya, a former pro boxer -- never made much of the situation until it repeated itself a few times.
There was then some concern over the recurring problems with Oscar and his fighting technique. The best solution was to have him go to the boxing gym, like his father had been forced to do when he was younger, by a father who also had amateur boxing experience in the 1930's.
Oscar's first experience with boxing gloves was at the age of 5, when his brother Joel Jr. put a pair of gloves on him and another pair on his cousin for a sparring session. As soon as the fighting started, Oscar covered his face in fear while his cousin landed a left jab right on his nose. As a result, Oscar started crying and ran home, similar to his previous experiences with over-barring bullies.
This "Golden Boy" of boxing was born on February 4th 1973 in East Los Angeles, California. He was one of America's top amateur boxers during the late 80-s and early 90's, until he turned pro right after winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The following November, he fought Lamar Williams and won the match with a first-round KO.
At 5'11 with an impressive 72-inch reach, he is one of today's most respected boxers, with a tremendous appeal to a broad audience of sports fan. His smooth character in the ring probably emanates from the fact that he "learned long ago to live with fear- controlled fear. Being relaxed, anticipating punches, translates into fear under control." He realizes that he is still young and that he still has a long road ahead, where he learns something new every time he finishes a daily workout. "The is always space for improvement, no matter how long you've been in the business."
Take away all the fame and glamour of this pretty boy of boxing, he still enjoys the time spent at home with his family. His entire family is very proud of Oscar's career, even if his brother Joel Jr. says that "Oscar hated physical confrontations." Part of Oscar's calling for boxing had to do with the time his father caught him playing, and said to him "How many times have I told you not to play baseball? I don't want you to get hurt. You can get killed out here. Go to the gym and learn how to defend yourself. That's what you've got to do." From that point on, it was clear that boxing was a tradition in the family, and he was going to be part of it.
"The incentive for my development as a boxer was my own family." Another reason was the fact that his close relatives would give him some money every time he would win a boxing during his mid-teens. They would give him some loose change and even a few dollars at times. He has come a long way since then, as he now receives 7 figure salaries for his fights, mainly due to his huge drawing power of fans. He has become a sports icon with tremendous promotional power as he can be found on promo items like t-shirts, boxing gloves, and even skin.
De La Hoya does his press conferences in Spanish, his mother tongue. His love for his roots and background make him a god-like creature among his own. De La Hoya does his press conferences in Spanish, his mother tongue. His love for his roots and background make him a god-like creature among his own. He won his first world title in 1994 against Jimmi Bredahl.
In 1995, he defeated Rafael Ruelas, later winning over Genaro Hernandez and Jesse James Leija. In June 1996, he clearly dominated his long time idol Julio Cesar Chavez in a fourth-round TKO. His 1997 defeat over the previously undefeated Miguel Gonzalez, won him the WBC lightweight title. Pernell Whitaker was his next in-ring victim with a close decision over the champ.
With an amazing record as a boxer, he seems to follow in the footsteps of other boxing legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, the one previously referred to as the "Golden Boy".