Oscar De La Hoya headlines 2014 Boxing Hall class
”The Golden Boy” is golden again.
Oscar De La Hoya, who won Olympic gold and became a champion in
six weight divisions in winning 10 world titles, has been selected
for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
”I am honored and appreciative to be chosen, and I thank
everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” De La Hoya
said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame. ”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 headlines the class of 2014 announced Wednesday, and
two of his contemporaries in the modern era – Puerto Rican star
Felix ”Tito” Trinidad and Joe Calzaghe of Wales – will join him
on stage June 8 at the induction ceremony in Canastota, N.Y.
Joining the hard-punching trio are George Chaney, Charles Ledoux
and Mike O’Dowd in the old-timer category, while Tom Allen is the
lone honoree in the pioneer category. The Hall of Fame’s 25th class
also includes promoter Barry Hearn, referees Richard Steele and
Eugene Corri, journalist Graham Houston and veteran Sports
Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer in the non-participant and
Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a
panel of international boxing historians.
De La Hoya had an amateur record of 223-5 with 153 knockouts and
won the lightweight gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in
Barcelona. He turned pro later that year and captured his first
world title, the WBO super-featherweight crown, in only his 12th
De La Hoya also won titles as a lightweight, light welterweight,
welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight. His 2007 bout
with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was one of the richest in boxing history,
attracting nearly 2.5 million pay-per-view fans. He retired after a
2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao with a professional record of 39-6 with
30 knockouts and in 2002 established Golden Boy Promotions.
The fame hasn’t come without some of the bad. De La Hoya
admitted himself to a treatment facility in September as he
continues to fight substance abuse. The move came on the eve of the
biggest fight of the year for his promotion company between
Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. De La Hoya first admitted two years
ago that he was an alcoholic and drug user and had been in
Trained by his father, Trinidad began boxing at age 10 in his
native Puerto Rico and became one of its most accomplished
fighters, posting a 51-6 amateur record before turning pro. He
stopped Maurice Blocker in two rounds to capture the IBF
welterweight crown in his 20th pro bout and defended his title 15
times, one of those a controversial 12-round majority decision over
De La Hoya.
Trinidad moved up in weight to win the WBA light middleweight
title from David Reid in March 2000 and later that year unified
titles with a 12th-round knockout against IBF champ Fernando
Vargas. In 2001, he became a three-division champion with a
fifth-round knockout of William Joppy for the WBA middleweight
The three-time world champ was a fan favorite because of his
big-punching style and devastating left hook.
”This is a great honor for me, my father, my family and my
whole team,” said Trinidad, who retired in 2009 with a record of
42-3 with 35 knockouts. ”This is the biggest triumph of my
Calzaghe was the Rocky Marciano of his division – nobody beat
him in 46 professional bouts, which included a division-record 21
defenses of his super middleweight title.
”I’m so excited,” Calzaghe said. ”I’m very proud and humbled.
I think it’s amazing. This is a massive, massive honor, just