End Of The Road As Water Runs Dry For 'Goldenboy'

oscar de la hoyaBy Vivek Wallace: With 16 years, a countless amount of epic battles, and a trail of millions in his rear view, one of the biggest iconic figures in the history of the sport has decided to lay the gloves down and walk away, presumably for good. So often, athletes in the sport of boxing find themselves without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of in the end, but fortunately for Oscar, the fruits of his labor will harvest for many more moons to come.

When the name Oscar De La Hoya is spoken, many thoughts come to mind. His critics fall on one side of the fence, his supporters another, but no matter who contributes to the conversation, everyone has some opinion of the 'Goldenboy'. That list would also include many that still take part in it. If nothing else, his departure from the sport paves the way for a new official king of the ring, in terms of earning prowess.. Despite losing to a number of men who threatened to take over that box office flagship role - (to include Mayweather and Pacquiao) - it was obvious by the steady number of sales he generated that his stronghold on the sport was far from relaxed. Who that eventual king of the box office will be remains to be seen, but one thing for sure, heavy odds say they won't bring the same assets to the table. In a very fitting representation, it's safe to say that the load of intangibles which Oscar brought to the sport best resembles a 'heavybag'. The bright smile outside of the ring, the fierce competitor mentality within it, the business savvy, etc.; in hindsight, many would agree that there was very attributes in which he did not possess. Although I'd be the first to admit to being very critical of his final days in the ring, for the record, sentiments expressed were based primarily on a strong desire to see the 'next-best-in-line' afforded the opportunity to also sample some wine. To many it seemed that Oscar had began to live today on efforts made yesterday, slowing the mega progress of a few other contenders on the brink of that stage who had shed just as much blood, wiped away just as much sweat, and attempted to hold back an equal amount of tears in their pursuit for those same green pastures.

When it all boils down, whatever side of the fence you may sit, the reality here is that nothing last forever. A few weeks ago I made a statement relative to Roy Jones Jr. that strongly applies to Oscar De La Hoya as it relates to his now confirmed retirement. I'll paraphrase by saying that for Oscar, like all of us, the most grand contradiction within is that "it is human nature to favor going the extra mile to attain more success, but due to the self-ego, it is not human nature to ever accurately gauge when there is simply not enough left in the tank to get us there". For a moment, he also failed to read that gauge correctly, but at this present moment in time, the reality has created a finality. Some may argue that he will retire without seizing one victory over a future hall-of-famer in their prime when they fought [0-6/Mosley-twice, Hopkins, Trinidad, Mayweather, and Pacquiao], but to highlight his greatness, how many men actually have enough of that "it" factor to find themselves in position to be offered six attempts on a mega stage that actually multiplied every time? Some have "it", others don't, but whatever "it" is, he can be used as the text book definition because history now tells us that no one has ever done it any better.

It's been a long road for the 'Goldenboy', and every tear that fell from his face at this retirement announcement bared a battle cry that he'll feel forevermore. We've had a chance to know him quite well. Now it's time to let Millie, Oscar Gabriel, and the rest of the clan see what they've been missing. As he steps away, I'd like to take this opportunity personally to not only congratulate Oscar, but thank him for a job well done by wishing him more prosperity and even more peace!

Yes, guys, we've come to the end of the road. Nature has taken its course and life has once again shown us that even for a 'Goldenboy' who once whet our appetites endlessly, water runs dry. Farewell Oscar. The end.....

(Got questions or feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show some love at Facebook and Myspace).

Article posted on 15.04.2009

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