The B.L. Morgan Boxing Blog: Lessons to be learned from, American Son: My Story By Oscar De La Hoya With Steve Springer

The back cover blurb of American Son: My Story ends with the statement by Oscar De La Hoya, “If I can do it, you can do it.” That was the dominant theme of De La Hoya’s story. It is a message everyone should remember and take to heart.

First of all American Son: My Story was written in easy to follow, plain language that makes the reading smooth and effortless. It was a pleasure to read the story of how one of the most financially successful fighters in history got to be where he is today. There have been a few fighters who have earned more money in the ring but none have had the impact on the sport of Boxing that Oscar De La Hoya has.

The story starts in Oscar’s childhood with him growing up in an economically lower-class family struggling on food stamps just for survival. He mentions that they had so many roaches they didn’t even try to kill them. They thought of them kind of like pets. It follows him through the early days of his amateur career all the way to Olympic Gold, Professional World Championships and on to being a successful Boxing promoter in 2008.

I was able to identify with Oscar right from the beginning. He told of being laughed at in school and even being punished by a teacher for stating he wanted to be an Olympic Gold Medalist. The lesson we should all take from that is: If you have a dream and it is ridiculed keep going after it anyway.

The weak ridicule, the strong persevere.

I got the impression while reading American Son: My Story that Oscar is an ordinary guy who happens to have an extraordinary talent. He didn’t come by the talent naturally. He had to develop that talent through hard work and perseverance. As a child his father had him up and out of bed to do his roadwork at 4:30am. For a child to do that shows dedication.

It was that hard work that made Oscar De La Hoya an amateur standout and an Olympic Gold Medalist.

Covered in this book are the reasons why The Golden Boy changed management and trainers so many times during his career. I had read that these changes showed a lack of loyalty. Rather, the truth is that each change was a decision that had to be made to further the career.

Several times his family and friends told him he was going to ruin his life if he made the changes he did. But Oscar did what he needed to do to be successful. The lesson to take from that is to have a long term goal and don’t swerve from your purpose. Make your choices guided toward that goal, not for what other people want. They have their own agenda.

This autobiography was not just a white washing of Oscar De La Hoya’s life. He told of fathering children out of wedlock and having a gambling problem that he dealt with.

The bottom line is, life is hard. We all make mistakes. Oscar De La Hoya dealt with his missteps with honor and dignity as well as he could have.

Whether you are a Boxing fan or not American Son: My story should be on your required reading list. It doesn’t give blow by blow descriptions of bouts. But you can get some inside information about the business aspects of being a fighter and how to have more than trophies and memories at the end of a career.

Oscar De La Hoya’s story is an inspirational story that illustrates you need to dream big to accomplish big things.

When Oscar states on the back cover, “If I can do it, you can do it,” He wasn’t joking.

Anything is possible if you work hard, stick to your goals and never, ever give up.


B.L. Morgan is the author of Blood and Rain, Blood for the Masses, Blood on the Celluloid and Night Knuckles through Speaking Volumes

He is also the author of Blood and Bones and You Play, You Pay through Publishing.


Article posted on 05.01.2011

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