Boxing

Oscar De La Hoya Thinks the Pandemic Is a ‘Blessing in Disguise’

During his boxing days, Oscar De La Hoya was one of the biggest names in the ring. Now a successful businessman and promoter, De La Hoya is still in the spotlight, albeit in a different capacity. Like every other sport in the world right now, boxing was affected by the coronavirus outbreak. According to De La Hoya, however, the quarantine could be a blessing in disguise for fight fans across the world. 

Oscar De La Hoya’s career

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De La Hoya made his professional debut in 1992. For nearly two decades afterward, he built an impressive resume as he knocked through the competition and made himself a household name to boxing fanatics and casual observers alike. His professional debut in 1992 came after over 200 fights on the amateur circuit. During his amateur career, he amassed 223 wins and 163 KOs.

His first professional fight took place in Inglewood, California, where De La Hoya knocked out Lamar Williams in the first round. Over the next few years, De La Hoya dominated the competition across several weight classes until his first professional loss in 1999 to Felix Trinidad after a grueling 12-round matchup. While this wasn’t the end of De La Hoya, it was the end of The Golden Boy’s domination over the sport. 

De La Hoya lost the welterweight title in a 12-round contest in 2000 to Shane Mosley, whom he lost to again three years later. A 2004 bout against Bernard Hopkins showed that De La Hoya was still a champion at heart. His final years saw him pass the torch to the next generation, however. His 12-round loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed a new Golden Child in boxing, while a 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao effectively put an end to De La Hoya’s career. 

This did not, however, mark an end to his love affair with boxing. 

Golden Boy Promotions 

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In 2002, he began to look into promotions six years before the end of his boxing career. Since then, the company has promoted some of the biggest names in boxing. Bernard Hopkins, who stunned the world by dominating the light heavyweight division in his late 40s, was one of his biggest clients.

To this day, however, De La Hoya has a stranglehold on some of the sport’s biggest names. Several of the biggest names in boxing are under the Golden Boy banner, none bigger than Canelo Alvarez.

From bright up-and-comers to seasoned veterans, however, De La Hoya’s promotional company has become power-player in the boxing world. As he looks toward the future of fighting, however, he thinks that this break in action could lead to something great for the sport. 

A silver lining

Sports are, obviously, not a top priority when dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. It has taken thousands of lives across the world and could continue doing so for months. For the sporting world, it has caused a lull in the action. However, this lull could lead to some fantastic fights, and De La Hoya explained why on the State of Combat podcast.

“It’s going to make us think twice to make the best fights possible for the fans,” De La Hoya told CBS Sports podcast. “Imagine putting the best against the best. That’s exactly what people are wanting. I think that this pandemic and what we are living is actually a blessing in disguise because now promoters have to put on the best shows possible.

In a boxing world that was already struggling to garner interest, De La Hoya sees this as an opportunity to plan the types of fights that will resonate with a broader audience. 

“They have to put on great fights. I believe we are going to survive this and be OK as long as we make the best possible fights for the fans.”

When boxing continues, expect De La Hoya’s fighters to enter some of the greatest fights of their career. Until then, the boxing community has to think about what the fans want to see and act accordingly when trying to rebound.