Saturday, November 18, 2017
Following His Golden Rules
Published November 27, 2008

It is a rare occasion when an African American newspaper chronicles the exploits of an individual who is not Black unless that person holds a political position such as Mayor or does something that impacts on our community.

It's not any uncommon than for the La Opinion, which focuses on its Spanish speaking community to feature a Black in a similar circumstance.

However, in that we are in the spirit of celebrating the historical election of the first Black President Barack Obama, which has become global news, I would like to turn our attention this week to the most attractive fighter in the history of the sport of boxing.

'The Golden Boy' Oscar De La Hoya will return to the ring next week Dec. 6 for another highly anticipated "The Dream Match" against Manny Pacquiao that is sure to eclipse another financial milestone.

De La Hoya has earned so much money and has established a sports and business empire that rivals that of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, and he has so much money that it's no wonder why the Federal Government didn't ask him for a loan.

This from a handsome, shy Mexican born in the East Los Angeles barrios who was often beat up so much in street fights that he wanted to become a boxer and at times was forced to go to the boxing gym by his demanding father Joel De La Hoya Sr.

The only United States fighter to capture Olympic gold in the 1992 Olympics he was always a good kid with Hollywood looks, the ability to speak fluent English and Spanish and a marketing miracle.

The fact that he may have been able to fight at all was a tremendous bonus, but with the right promoter and the right opponent he certainly was not going to embarrass himself.

From the moment he scored his first win at the Great Western Forum in 1992 with a first round KO over five-time winner Lamar Williams, De La Hoya has skyrocketed into another orbit and has never looked back since.

After 30 fights De La Hoya was undefeated until he met Felix Trinidad in 1992 and had left such names as Jeff Mayweather, Rafael Ruelas, Jorge Paez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey and Oba Carr in his shadows.

In the meantime while he was mushrooming as a fighting star, his appeal as a gate attraction was approaching the status of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

This once pride of East Los Angeles was becoming larger than his then promoter Bob Arum and the sport of boxing and hence he left Arum and launched his own promotional company.

Rumors suggest that it was HBO that recommended that he do so and even if the boxing network giant created such a monopoly with De La Hoya and his newly formed Golden Boy Promotions Company, in hindsight it was a genius decision.

Great fighters who have defeated him in the ring such as Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins have since become his partners, but make no mistake about it they are working under the "Golden Dome."

In a sense the Oscar phenom is almost as equal as the Obama phenom and almost in the same global sense. We may never have another Obama and we may never have another Oscar.

Throughout the history of boxing there have been great Mexican fighters, perhaps even greater Black fighters , a slew of Puerto Rican greats, but nothing has come close to comparing to what Oscar became.

Even rival promoter Don King marvels at the vast appeal Oscar has accumulated that transcends the sport of boxing.

"Anytime he's in a pay per view event you just start right off the top with 500,000. You get that just because it's Oscar," King once said.

De La Hoya's bout with "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather in 2007 eclipsed the magical plateau of one million pay per view buys, something that no one other than a heavyweight bout featuring Tyson could achieve.

Ring Magazine has long since been considered the bible of boxing, but since De La Hoya purchased it, the Ring championship belt has as much if not more significance than any of the other alphabet soup titles combined.

Of course when Oscar steps into the ring it doesn't matter whether he dons a belt to not, all the thousands of women care about is when he takes off his robe, each imagining what a night with Oscar would be like.

When Tyson fought it was a party and when Oscar fights you know it's going to be a fiesta so bring your own chips and he'll provide the salsa.

Many are already beginning to wonder what will become of the sport of boxing when he retires, but few especially HBO are prepared for such a nightmare.

We just got our first Black President, the economy is in the dump, boxing promotional companies are scrambling to survive and just make ends meet, it's not time for us to lose Oscar.

Need not worry, at least for the moment you will get your fix of Oscar next week when he revives Las Vegas and perks up that economy.

Then we will all sit back and evaluate, still not able to explain or duplicate what has cultivated us as a member of Oscar's World.


Categories: News (Sports)

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