Boxing legend Oscar Dela Hoya runs into his former trainer and father of his fiercest rival Floyd Mayweather Sr. in the hotel lobby.
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Oscar De La Hoya (/deɪləˈhɔɪ.ə/; born February 4, 1973) is a boxing promoter and former professional boxer who competed from 1992 to 2008. He holds dual American and Mexican citizenship. Nicknamed “The Golden Boy”, De La Hoya represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal in the lightweight division shortly after graduating from James A. Garfield High School. He was born in East Los Angeles, California, and comes from a boxing family. His grandfather Vicente, father Joel Sr. and brother Joel Jr. were all boxers. De La Hoya was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine in 1995, and was their top-rated fighter in the world, pound for pound, in 1997 and 1998. He announced his retirement in 2009, after a professional career spanning sixteen years.
De La Hoya won multiple world titles in six different weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes, and is ranked as the 16th best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by BoxRec. He generated approximately $700 million in pay-per-view income, making him the top pay-per-view earner before being surpassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. In 2002, De La Hoya founded Golden Boy Promotions, a combat sport promotional firm. He is the first American of Mexican descent to own a national boxing promotional firm and one of the few boxers to take on promotional responsibilities while still active.
De La Hoya’s amateur career included 234 wins, 163 by knockout, and six losses. Of those six losses, two came at the hands of Shane Mosley. In 1989, he won the National Golden Gloves title in the bantamweight division. In 1990, at the age of 17, he won the U.S. National Championship at featherweight and was the youngest U.S. boxer at that year’s Goodwill Games, winning a gold medal. The joy of victory was tempered by the news that his mother, Cecilia, was terminally ill with breast cancer. She died in October 1990, expressing the hope that her son would one day become an Olympic gold medalist. With the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona approaching, De La Hoya turned his mother’s dream into a strong focus for his training. After an upset victory in the first round over the Mexican boxer Julio Gonzalez, De La Hoya defeated German boxer Marco Rudolph to win gold. The U.S. media publicized his quest to fulfill his mother’s dying wish and dubbed him with the nickname “The Golden Boy”, which has remained with him throughout his career.
De La Hoya did not fight for the 15 months and in this time the rivalry between him and WBA champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas (22–1) grew. They knew each other as amateurs and it is said the rivalry began when Vargas was angered by De La Hoya laughing at him after he fell into a snowbank. De La Hoya said he would never fight him. Eventually, however, De La Hoya accepted a match. The fight was scheduled for early 2002, but De La Hoya had to withdraw because of a hand injury.