Getting Personal with “Golden” Oscar De La Hoya
As part of my Winter Term project, I was fortunate enough to interview “The Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya was in Chicago on Jan. 27 promoting two of his own fighters, junior middleweights Antonio Escalante and Marco Antonio Rubio.
The two fighters were scheduled to fight at Cicero Stadium in Cicero, a suburb of Chicago. De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, was the co-promoter of the event. I went to the interview with two of Chicago’s best reporters: Mike Hirsley, a boxing beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, and Dan McGrath, Sports Editor of the Chicago Tribune.
The interview took place in De La Hoya’s suite, on the 23rd floor of the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Chicago, overlooking the Gold Coast area.
The interview started with De La Hoya speaking about Golden Boy Promotions. He was dressed casually with an open vest and popped collar. Hirsley, McGrath and I took turns asking De La Hoya questions. He seemed to be very relaxed and was very open in conversations ranging from boxing to family.
“We started [the company] three years ago, and we’re hoping to change the sport of boxing and also to educate fighters,” he said.
De La Hoya and his partners plan to recruit great fighters but, more importantly great people.
De La Hoya’s new company will allow him and his partners to promote in multiple places simultaneously. De La Hoya explained how Golden Boy promotes all over the country because other big name fighters like Sugar Shane Mosley and Barnard Hopkins work with him, who could be promoting in places like Boston or Miami while De La Hoya could be elsewhere.
“I enjoy the support from the other fighters — we’re like a team,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya also had a chance to explain to us how they promote fights and how they decide which fighters to choose.
“We get these lists of fighters along with their profiles, and we watch video tapes of them. Golden Boy only signs the most talented fighters,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya and his wife Millie gave birth to a son, Oscar Gabriel De La Hoya, back in December. De La Hoya briefly stated that having a son doesn’t make him worry about getting back in the ring but that family is his number one priority.
“My son, Oscar Jr., motivates me to fight again. I want to win my last fight for him,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya has not fought in 16 months; he has decided to fight two of the best current boxers in Ricardo Mayorga and either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Winky Wright. The Mayorga fight will be a title fight on May 6, while his last fight against either Mayweather or Wright will take place in September.
“Mayweather Jr. and Winky Wright are two of the best fighters out there, I feel like I let fans down [while I wasn’t fighting], and now I have to prove myself.”
De La Hoya feels that not fighting in 2005 gave him a chance to rest. He said he’s well rested and ready to fight again in 2006. Weight is important when it comes to boxing, and De La Hoya claimed he fights his best when his weight ranges from 147 lbs. to 155 lbs.
“Guys tend to be bigger and stronger when they get to weigh 165 or more,” said De La Hoya. “Like when I fought Bernard Hopkins who during the fight was 185, and I was 158, it’s better to match the weight.”
Although Winky Wright is a possibility for De La Hoya’s final match, he says he would rather fight Mayweather, as he feels that Mayweather is the better fighter.
At one point during the interview McGrath asked De La Hoya if he had seen any
good boxing movies lately: “I liked Million Dollar Baby, and
Cinderella Man was one of the best boxing movies I’ve ever