It's Official, Oscar De La Hoya Is Retired

Oscar De La Hoyaby James Slater - Today, as was widely expected as soon as Oscar De La Hoya made it known he would be making a big announcement at a Los Angeles press conference, the career of "The Golden Boy" came to an official end. Though many fans had already virtually retired the 36-year-old all-time great in the days that followed his hammering and then staying on the stool after the 8th round against Manny Pacquiao last December, it was Oscar himself who made it public today.

"It's over for me inside the ring," De La Hoya said moments ago in L.A. "I'm announcing my retirement. When I can't compete at my highest level, it's not fair to me or my fans."

And while, somewhat like "Sugar" Ray Leonard before him, De La Hoya's popularity among some fans diminished towards the end of his fighting days, there is no doubting the fact that Oscar will go down as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of the last quarter century.. A world champion in an unprecedented six weight classes - from super-featherweight all the way up to middleweight - De La Hoya regularly sought out the best available opponents to fight.

Also having captured an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 games in Barcelona, Oscar's trophy cabinet is certainly as full as can be today. Finishing with a 39-6(30) pro record, De La Hoya will be remembered in years to come as the biggest ticket seller/money earner of his era outside of the heavyweights.

Stopped just twice in his sixteen year pro career - by the bigger Bernard Hopkins and, at the very end, by reigning pound-for-pound king Pacquiao - De La Hoya gave his fans many great nights to remember. When it comes to his finest win, most would likely point either to his 11th round stoppage of Fernando Vargas or his points win over the unbeaten Ike Quartey, over whom Oscar scored two knockdowns. There were many other standout names De La Hoya defeated during his time at the top though.

Falling off the tongue easily, are names like Julio Cesar Chavez (who Oscar stopped twice), Rafael Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Hector Camacho, Arturo Gatti and Ricardo Mayorga, to name just a few. Of the six men that managed to beat him, only Hopkins, Pacquiao and Shane Mosley (in their first fight) clearly defeated him. Fans still argue about Oscar's 1999 points loss to Felix Trinidad, and they also debate who won between De La Hoya and Mosley in their 2003 rematch.

Oscar's last win came on points against Steve Forbes in May of last year, but in his fight before that, in May of 2007, "The Golden Boy" came close to becoming the first man to beat the superb Floyd Mayweather Junior, eventually dropping a split verdict.

It is this version of De La Hoya - the version that was capable of taking on and beating the best in the sport - that I wish to remember. He gave us some good nights during the 1990s and 2000s, and it is to be hoped De La Hoya enjoys his retirement from prize fighting.

Article posted on 15.04.2009

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