Why is De La Hoya's legacy still being questioned?
Still questioning Oscar De La Hoya's legacy? Don't bother. With six titles in six weight classes and bouts against the best fighters of his time, the Golden Boy's résumé speaks for itself.
Originally Published: December 1, 2008By Alberto Rojas | ESPN Deportes La Revista
E:60 Feature Thrilla
E:60 Feature Thrilla
In boxing, few things prove more difficult than deciding who is the best fighter of all time. The division system and the different time periods render it practically impossible to make a fair and equitable comparison.What we can make, however, is a list of the greatest of all time, and in that list, Oscar De La Hoya's name has to appear in gold letters along with those of other great legends. What makes him worthy of sitting side by side with fighters of the stature of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns is that De La Hoya has been the only boxer to capture six titles in different divisions. Along the way, he has defeated some of the best fighters of his generation, like lighter greats Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker. He showed heart in edging Ike Quartey in 1999 and guts in stopping Fernando Vargas in 2002. During his 15 years as a professional boxer, De La Hoya has fought 44 times, winning 39 and knocking out 30 of his opponents. He suffered only one stoppage loss (to Bernard Hopkins) and at least three of his defeats have been arguably questionable. Despite his convincing résumé, the Golden Boy's credentials are still being questioned in the twilight of his career. Just days away from his 45th fight, the doubts that haunted De La Hoya in the past have resurfaced. Is he fighting the best possible competition? What does he gain for defeating a smaller fighter? Originally, De la Hoya was set to close out his career with a rematch against Floyd Mayweather in September, but Mayweather's unexpected retirement nixed that fight. Many figured the winner between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto in July would be De La Hoya's next opponent, but De La Hoya switched gears after Margarito chopped down Cotto in 11 rounds. Eventually, De La Hoya opted for the consensus No. 1 fighter in the world in Manny Pacquiao. Choosing Pacquiao was disconcerting for some fight fans. They wondered if Pacquiao, who is making the leap to 147 pounds from 135 pounds, will have the speed and pop to contend with De La Hoya.
|Two Title Fights, One Night|
|TV lineup for the Golden Boy Promotions/Top Rank card Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas: • Welterweights: Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) vs. Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs), 12 rounds • Junior welterweights: Victor Ortiz (22-1-1, 17 KOs) vs. Jeff Resto (22-2, 13 KOs), 12 rounds • Junior featherweights: Juan Manuel Lopez (23-0, 21 KOs) vs. Sergio Medina (33-1, 18 KOs), for Lopez's title • Super middleweights: Daniel Jacobs (12-0, 11 KOs) vs. Victor Lares (14-3, 3 KOs), 8 rounds|
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