Mexican-American Oscar De La Hoya was born on September 26, 1973 in East Los Angeles, California. He began to train at the Eastside Boxing Club in L.A. when he was a little boy. Reared by a family of boxers, it was De La Hoya who raised their family name to boxing superstardom. His amateur career was very impressive 223 wins out of 228, where 163 were wins by KO.
In 1992, after he became a gold medalist Olympian for the United States, he began to box professionally at the age of 18. De La Hoya defeated around 18 former or current champions once or twice in 6 different weight divisions. His popularity and good looks earned him the nickname – “The Golden Boy”.
He came by his first title when he defeated Jimmi Bredahl to snag the WBO junior lightweight in 1994.
When he moved up to the lightweight division, he successfully got another WBO title. He defeated several top and champion boxers such as Jorge Paez, John-John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez and Jesse James Leija. Most his victories were wins by KO.
De La Hoya gained weight anew to qualify under the junior welterweight division. His first title in this category came by in 1996 when he beat former WBC junior welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez via TKO. He remained the champion in this category for less than a year when he decided to move up to another division.
In the welterweight division, he took champion boxer Pernell Whitaker in 1997, knocking him down in the 9th round. In 1999, De La Hoya’s fought against IBF welterweight champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad of Puerto Rico, who at that time successfully defended his title for 17 consecutive times. The bout set in Las Vegas, Nevada, was dubbed “The Fight of the Millennium”. In this fight, Golden Boy experienced his first professional defeat.
He again moved up to the junior middleweight division and defeated Javier Castillejo, the Spanish WBC junior middleweight champion. The fight was scheduled after he made Floyd Mayweather Sr. to be his coach.
In 2000, in the welterweight division, De La Hoya fought against Shane Mosley but lost by a split decision. In 2003, Golden Boy was given the chance to avenge his defeat in 2000 but still failed to knock down Mosley, who won via a unanimous decision.
One of the most interesting and then-much-awaited De La Hoya fights was in 2002 against his rival Fernando “Ferocious” Vargas, WBA junior middleweight champion. The bout called “Bad Blood”, lasted only until the 11th round with Golden Boy beating Ferocious via TKO.
Golden Boy caused a stir in 2004 when he moved up to the middleweight division and beat Felix Sturm to claim the WBO World Middleweight title. With this victory, De La Hoya became the first boxer in history to have become champion in all 6 weight categories. In that same year, De La Hoya experienced his first knockout when he was sent to the canvas by Bernard Hopkins. He then ceased from playing boxing and concentrated on his boxing promoting outfit, “Golden Boy Promotions”.
In 2006, De La Hoya, again, penetrated the super welterweight division when he beat Ricardo Mayorga via TKO in the 6th round for the WBC Super Welterweight title. His next fight in 2007, dubbed “The World Awaits”, he sought to defend his WBC Super Welterweight title against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., the best pound for pound fighter in the world and the son of his trainer, Mayweather, Sr. Tickets for the fight held in MGM Grand in Las Vegas were sold-out in only 3 hours. In fact, it was a record-breaking event in PPV history with revenues reaching US$120 million. The fight ended with De La Hoya losing against Mayweather, Jr. via the judges’ split decision. Despite losing, nevertheless, De La Hoya gained praises since he was the first to beat Mayweather on an official scorecard.
After losing Mayweather, Jr., De La Hoya triumphed over Steve Forbes in a tune-up fight to prepare him for his September 20, 2008 rematch with Mayweather, Jr.
To date, De La Hoya has had 44 professional fights with 5 losses and where 30 of his 39 wins were by way of knockout.