Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oscar De La Hoya calls it quits

Longtime boxer Oscar De La Hoya finally called it quits after a glamorous career. The 36-year-old has won titles in six different divisions and has gone up against some of the world's best.

But last December, the Golden Boy looked listless in losing to Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya grew up poor in East Los Angeles and worked his way into a successful career in and out of the ring. He is a symbol for you boxers in what it takes to be the best at what he does.

De La Hoya was a great boxer in his prime and he helped lift boxing at key times during his time. Hopefully, he will stay retired and not return to the ring. De La Hoya hasn't been the same in the past couple of fights and to get beat like he did against Pacquiao says a great deal about just how far he has fallen.

My Top 10 De La Hoya moments
No. 10 Second Round knockout of Jorge Paez in July of 1994. Paez was one of the toughest fighters of his era and was the smaller man in the ring. But De La Hoya ended his night early with a knockout.

No. 9 A tough decision win against John John Molina, a veteran from Puerto Rico in February of 1995. It wasn't easy for De La Hoya in this fight, but it was another lesson learned.

No. 8 A stunning second round stoppage of Rafael Ruelas. This was a much anticipated fight between the two California boxers and De La Hoya was impressive in dismantling Ruelas, who was never the same after taking a barrage of punches.

No. 7 Gold Medal win at 1992 Barcelona Games. De La Hoya won a gold medal and that began the start of his pro career. It was an impressive run at the Games for De La Hoya, who is one of the greatest amateur fighters of all time in the United States.

No. 6 Pro debut win against Lamar Williams. De La Hoya stopped Williams in round one to open his career impressively.

No. 5 Beats Pernell Whitaker by controversial decision on April 12, 1997. De La Hoya and Whitaker engaged in a technical battle and many thought Whitaker did enough to beat De La Hoya.

No. 4 A split decision win against Ike "Bazooka" Quartey on Feb. 13, 1999. This was a back and forth affair in which both men tasted the canvas. De La Hoya showed his grit by rallying to win.

No. 3 A decision loss to Felix "Tito" Trinidad in September of 1999. De La Hoya seemingly had the fight won, then coasted over the final third of the fight and lost a heavily disputed decision. Still, many thought he did more than enough to win.

No. 2 2004 loss to Bernard Hopkins. De La Hoya moves up to middleweight to challenge Hopkins and gives the Philadelphia middleweight kingpin all he can handle for much of the fight before being stopped in the ninth round by a viscous body shot that had De La Hoya reeling.

No. 1 In 1996, De La Hoya took on Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez. Chavez was a decorated fighter with legions of fans all over the world and the owner of 96 wins entering the fight. However, Chavez was cut early and was never really in the fight before being stopped in the fourth. Many Mexican fans never forgave De La Hoya for being their hero.