Oscar De La Hoya will forever be remembered for his illustrious career…
The 40-year-old retired Mexican American boxer and Olympic gold medalist has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in balloting results announced Wednesday.
De La Hoya has earned the honor in his first year of eligibility.
“I am honored and appreciative to be chosen for the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 and I thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” said De La Hoya, who has struggled with substance abuse issues during retirement but also founded Golden Boy Promotions, one of the leading promotional companies in the world.
De La Hoya — “The Golden Boy” from East Los Angeles — won a 1992 Olympic gold medal at the Barcelona Games shortly after graduating from James A. Garfield High School before rocketing to professional stardom that resulted in his winning 10 world titles in a then-record six weight divisions (junior lightweight to middleweight) while becoming the face of boxing and a pay-per-view mega star during his 1992 to 2008 career.
“This is the dream of everyone who puts on a pair of gloves and steps between the ropes, and through the good and the bad, you always hope that when all is said and done, you put on good fights, entertained the fans and will be remembered for what you did in the ring. To know that I will be in the Hall of Fame with the greats of this sport is humbling, but it’s also put a smile on my face that isn’t coming off anytime soon.”
De La Hoya, whose titles came at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds, faced a who’s who of top opponents, including beating Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (twice), Pernell Whitaker and Arturo Gatti. He also faced the likes of Feiix Trinidad (a fellow honoree), Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley (twice), Fernando Vargas, Hector Camacho Sr. and Genaro Hernandez.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) was a heavyweight when it came to selling pay-per-view as fans of all kinds, including women and a passionate Hispanic fan base, flocked to his fights. His 2007 junior middleweight championship fight against Mayweather set numerous revenue records, including selling nearly 2.5 million pay-per-view subscriptions, still the all-time high.
Joining him and Trinidad in the modern category of inductees (voted on by the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of boxing historians) is ormer super middleweight world champion Joe Calzaghe, who retired undefeated and is widely considered the best fighter to come out of Wales.
They will be honored on June 8 during the 25th annual inductions ceremony at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.