Oscar De La Hoya had an extraordinary boxing career which included many big fights, a lot of big victories, and numerous championship belts during his 16 year career. He won titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154, and 160, and he had the distinction of becoming the first boxer to ever win fights in 6 different weight classes.
Now that he has been out of the ring for over seven years, there are 6 fights that fans seem to mention most frequently when discussing the illustrious career of The Golden Boy, and those just so happened to be the 6 most controversial bouts in his career.
The first of these matches happened on April 12, 1997 when De La Hoya challenged Pernell Whitaker for his WBC welterweight title. The fight was officially scored in Oscar’s favor with final tallies of 116-110, 116-110, and 115-111 all in favor of The Golden Boy. Many observers felt that Sweet Pea deserved the victory.
The second controversial bout Oscar was involved in took place on February 13, 1999 when De La Hoya had defended his WBC welterweight title against Ike Quartey. Ike had vacated his WBA welterweight belt in order to secure the fight with Oscar. De La Hoya was awarded a split decision victory, with two judges scoring it for The Golden Boy by scores of 116-112 and 116-113, and the dissenting judge had it for Ike 115-114. Many observers felt that Quartey deserved the victory.
The third bout in our series of controversial De La Hoya bouts was a welterweight unification match that took place on September 18, 1999 when he faced Felix Trinidad. De La Hoya’s WBC welterweight title and Trinidad’s IBF welterweight title were both on the line. Trinidad was awarded a majority decision victory. One judge had it even 114-114, but was overruled by the other two judges who both scored the fight for Tito, 115-114 and 115-113. Many observers believed Oscar deserved the win.
The fourth fight was a rematch with Sugar Shane Mosley that happened on September 13, 2003 when Oscar looked for revenge against Mosley, as he put his WBC and WBA versions of the 154 pound title on the line. Most observers, including the HBO commentators, felt that Oscar did enough to secure the victory, but the three official judges thought otherwise, all scoring the match 115-113 in favor of Mosley.
On June 5, 2004, De La Hoya made his middleweight debut against WBO titlist Felix Sturm. This was designed to be a prelude to a bout between De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins held the WBC, WBA, and IBF versions of the middleweight title, so when Oscar won a unanimous decision against Sturm where all three judges had the bout 115-113 in his favor, Oscar had secured himself the WBO version of the title, and would go on to face Hopkins in the first bout where all 4 major titles recognized at the time were unified. Most observers felt that Sturm had deserved the nod over Oscar.
The final bout in this series of “controversial matches” happened on May 5, 2007 when Oscar defended his 154 pound WBC title against Floyd Mayweather Jr. This bout was far less controversial than the others, but nonetheless, many observers felt Oscar deserved to win or draw in this one. Officially, however, Floyd was awarded a split decision with two judges seeing things his way by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, and the dissenting judge scoring the contest for Oscar 115-113. Most observers believe the right man won this time, but a significant faction of observers felt otherwise.
This edition of Rummy’s Corner attempts to explore these 6 boxing matches with in-depth recaps and highlights. Please watch and enjoy the video.