'Snapshot': A Look At The Legacy Of Oscar De La Hoya - With And Without The Gloves

Oscar De La HoyaBy Vivek Wallace: In less than a week, fight fans will get the opportunity to watch as one of the sports most recognized athletes delivers the latest chapter of his famed career. For the last 16 years boxing fans around the globe have watched as Oscar De La Hoya entertained in a way that only he can, and despite the many setbacks encountered, his most recent mega-fight with the sports former pound for pound king (Floyd Mayweather Jr.) showed exactly how relevant he remains. In that event Oscar set the bar even higher, breaking records in several categories - ranging from PPV buys (2.4M), to purse money received ($52M), and many more. As the week moves along we'll get into fight strategy and hype, but serving as an appetizer, today we take our first look at a man who needs no introduction. None of us know exactly how much longer the Goldenboy will dwell between the ropes, so out of respect for this legendary figure, today we take a quick trip down memory lane to revisit his many milestones, accolades, and accomplishments in the first installment of our 'Snapshot', which highlights his existence in the sport..

Oscar De La Hoya: Between The Ropes.....

In 1992, on a mission dedicated to the most important woman to ever step foot in his life, a driven Oscar De La Hoya went on to become the only U.S. Boxer in his Olympic class to receive a Gold Medal. After an amateur career that saw him go 224-5 with 163KO's, this accomplishment was a perfect way to bridge the gap between a stellar amateur career and professional debut that many found themselves very anxious to watch unfold. Within only two years of his professional debut, on March 5, 1994, Oscar De La Hoya took on Jimmy Bredahl for the WBO Super Featherweight strap. After ten hard fought rounds, Oscar would solidify a victory that gave him his first world title. Eager to prove his worth, driven by an unrelenting passion for success, Oscar would go on a tear over the next few years, earning the WBO Lightweight title (Jorge Paez), the IBF Lightweight title (Rafael Ruelas), the WBC Light Welterweight title (Julio Cesar Chavez), and the WBC Welterweight title (Pernell Whitaker). Combined, that was a stunning 5 world titles in 4 different weight divisions during a three year time span. Adding to the intrigue of it all is the fact that there were critics who openly questioned his level of opposition in an effort to take away from this stellar accomplishment. Granted, while some of his opponents were a bit aged and far less than prime, one key stat remains unparalleled when analyzed. That stat was the fact that in order to accomplish such a huge feat in such a short amount of time, Oscar had to defeat five champions who had an amazing combined record of 248-9, with one of the five (Jorge Paez) owning six of those 9 losses. The most anyone can ask of any champion is to defeat the best man placed in front of him, and in a resounding fashion, the 'Goldenboy' not only did that, but did it with relative ease, effectively carving a place for himself in the minds and hearts of fight fans around the world.

In 1999, his luck and good fortune would change as the 'Goldenboy' suffered his first loss, which came against Puerto Rican Felix 'Tito' Trinidad. That lost was the initial blow in a difficult 11 year span that encapsulated a ring record of 16-5, handing Oscar humbling defeats to modern day greats such as Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, and Floyd Mayweather Jr as well as Trinidad. Even with the setbacks, Oscar's heroics of the past, coupled with his staying power of the present have allowed him to once again fall center stage as he prepares for his mega fight with Manny Pacquaio. Oddly enough, win, lose, or draw, he'll undoubtedly find himself in another mega-fight during 2009 with Hatton, Mayweather Jr., or even Miguel Cotto listed as potential opponents. For some that's a reflection of what's wrong with the sport, while to others, it's simply another opportunity to watch a man they grew up admiring.

Oscar De La Hoya: Without The Gloves......

As if his accomplishments in the ring weren't enough, part of the newly established legacy that Oscar has created - which appears to be equally impressive - is the one initiated in 2001 when he kicked off operations for Goldenboy Promotions. In only 7 years of business, Oscar's promotional company has in many ways revolutionized the way that the fight promotions game is handled. Everything from the HBO 24/7 documentaries to bold marketing plans that understood the importance of Nebraska equally as much as New York, few around the globe have not felt the effects of Oscar's impact on the fight game. Considering the major 'brass' on his roster, it doesn't take a genius to figure out exactly how Oscar has been able to accomplish so much success as a promoter, as few others in the industry are lucky enough to have so many stallions under one stable. Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Diaz, Librado Andrade, and Ricky Hatton, (among many others), all call GBP home. When looking down that list of names and skimming over the others, it's very easy to see what the winning recipe has been for Oscar. That recipe is a sheer ability to serve nearly every demographic in a purely dynamic fashion. Mexican, British, east coast, west coast, you name it, they're all covered and Oscar's team leaves no stone unturned in their quest to deliver the best in the business. Oscar's brilliance away from the ring hasn't come without flaw, but time and time again, we've seen him commit to a certain standard which helps many to keep his name synonymous with a certain level of excellence. Few realize how much commitment and dedication it takes to achieve this level of greatness both in and outside of the ring by Oscar, but hopefully after reviewing those accomplishments again, fight fans will be gracious enough to respect him over the long haul....even if he does get the short end of the stick come Saturday night.

{Tune in to tomorrow's 'Snapshot', as we take a look at the legacy of Manny Pacquiao...Below is a list of the remaining shedule for the week}

Tue: 'Snapshot': A Look At The Legacy Of Manny Pacquaio (A look at career milestones of Manny).
Wed: The 'Left-Hook Lounge': (My weekly mailbag dedicated this week solely to Oscar and Manny).
Thu: Champs, Chumps, Controversies: Fight Fans Reaction To The 'Dream Match' (A look at how fans view this matchup)
Fri: 'Call Em Out Fridays': (My weekly 'spotlight' article, analyzing the pro's, the con's, and the neutral take on the two fighters involved)
Sat: Keys To Victory, Four To Explore, and Official Prediction (Talking fight strategy, key effects to watch out for, and fight prediction).
Mon: Pacquiao/De La Hoya - 'The Aftermath': (Posted Monday, Not Sunday - A Recap and a look at where the two fighters go from here).

(Got Questions or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, or show some love at

Article posted on 02.12.2008

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