Island News

The golden boy of boxing

BY AJAY BHAI AMRIT Oscar De La Hoya is the outrageously good-looking, articulate and gifted athlete of the modern era. He grossed more than $1 billion in pay per view
10 Jun 2012 09:22

Oscar De La Hoya and wife, Millie Corretjer.


Oscar De La Hoya is the outrageously good-looking, articulate and gifted athlete of the modern era.
He grossed more than $1 billion in pay per view TV sales and was the consummate athlete with the Midas touch. Today he is the headman of the biggest boxing promotional company in the world aptly named “Golden Boy Promotions”.
De La Hoya was born in the rough and tough neighbourhood of East Los Angeles in February 1973. He was drawn to boxing by his father and quickly became a standout boxer. As an amateur, he was incredibly fast with an inner strength that belied his good looks and charm.
Moving through the ranks, he quickly became the number one boxer in the world at his weight and was contemplating entering the Olympic Games in 1992 as one of the favourites to get a medal for his country.
Before this happened, tragedy struck as his mother was struck down with an aggressive form of cancer that took her life in October 1990 when Oscar was only 17 years old.
Her dying wish was that Oscar wins the Gold medal at the upcoming Olympics and makes the family proud.
He did that, and at the tender age of 19, he was the Gold medallist, Olympic champion and rated the best boxer in the world at his weight class.
A few months after winning the Olympic gold medal, De La Hoya turned professional and won his first world title by the time he was 20 years old.
He went on to enjoy a fantastic boxing career, winning titles in six weight divisions and generating more money than any other boxer in history.
He is bilingual and effortlessly gave interviews in both English and Mexican, which was his ancestral background.
This gave him huge crossover appeal for not only the American market but also the huge Latin American market where he was a modern day hero.
In total, he defeated 17 world champions and never ducked anyone as he won titles moving up in the weight divisions.
Life during and after boxing has been very kind to Oscar because of his commitment to hard work and his positive outlook on life.
In 2000, he released a Grammy nominated album where he sang in both Spanish and English. It was a huge hit. The famous Bee Gees brothers wrote a lot of the songs on the album in collaboration with De La Hoya.
In 2001 he married the beautiful Millie Corretjer, a very famous Latin singer and actress. They have 2 children together.
In 2004, he debuted a clothing line of casual and active apparel through Mervyns department stores which had about 200 stores countrywide in USA.
In 2006, De la Hoya was illustrated in a children’s book as ‘Super Oscar.’
The book was a massive hit and was the winner of the ‘Latino Book Award’, as best bilingual children’s book picture of the year.
In 2007, a huge bronze statue measuring more than two metres was erected outside the famous Staples Sports Centre in Los Angeles to honour De La Hoya.
In 2008 Oscar’s company, Golden Boy, acquired a 25 per cent stake in a multi-million dollar deal to buy major league soccer side, Houston Dynamo.
In 2009 De La Hoya made a huge donation of millions of dollars to the Los Angeles Oncology Unit which looks after and treats cancer patients, of which his mother died from.
He even built a new hospital wing for them in his mother’s name.
In the same year, he spent millions of more dollars to start his own school named ‘De La Hoya Charter High School” for the underprivileged and give back to society.
In 2010, he was on the front covers of the Xbox 360 games and EA Sports video games which will pay him a percentage of all sales.
Finally in 2011, he flew across to Kuwait to visit U.S. military troops based there as a meet and greet, and also hold fitness and boxing clinics for the soldiers.
Oscar De la Hoya, the story of rags to riches, Olympic Gold medal winner, six weight world champion, the biggest boxing promotional company in the world, a huge fan base, well known humanitarian, model, designer, athlete, Grammy nominated singer and guess what, he is not even 40 years old yet.

q Next week we feature an absolute global icon and his insight into his favourite sports.

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