U.S.: Oscar De La Hoya Biography, Boxing Career, Relationships, Children, Scandals, Net Worth

Oscar De La Hoya is the focus of a new two-part HBO documentary titled The Golden Boy, which will run at 9 p.m. on HBO and Max on July 24 and 25. The film examines both the champion boxer’s successful in-ring career and his troubled personal life.

Who Is Oscar De La Hoya?

De La Hoya, widely known as the “Golden Boy,” is one of the most successful and well-known boxers of all time, having won ten world titles in six different weight classes during his career. He began boxing at an early age and earned a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics when he was 19 years old. Before retiring in 2009, De La Hoya earned hundreds of millions of dollars from pay-per-view fights.

Aside from his fighting abilities, De La Hoya is well-known for his promotional organization, Golden Boy Promotions, which he founded in 2002. Some of boxing’s biggest fights have been promoted by the firm.

Early Life and Career

De La Hoya was born in Montebello, Los Angeles, California, on February 4, 1973. Before he was born, his parents emigrated to the United States from Mexico. Boxing was a family tradition for De La Hoya. In the 1940s, his grandpa was an amateur fighter, and his father, Joel, boxed professionally in the 1960s. De La Hoya began boxing at the age of six. Sugar Ray Leonard, an Olympic gold medalist who became a celebrity following the 1976 Summer Olympics before turning professional, was his idol.

De La Hoya won the national Junior Olympic 119-pound title at the age of 15 and the 125-pound title the following year. He won the national Golden Gloves title in the 125-pound division in 1990 and was the youngest US boxer to earn a gold medal in that year’s Goodwill Games. The euphoria of winning was dampened by the news that his mother, Cecilia, was critically ill with cancer; she died in October 1990, expressing her wish for her son to win Olympic gold one day. De La Hoya was voted Boxer of the Year by USA Boxing one year later after winning the US Amateur Boxing championship (132 pounds).

Outside of the ring, though, De La Hoya’s life was even more complex. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in August 2021, the boxer revealed that he was raped at the age of 13 in Hawaii by a lady “over 35” years old. He has also claimed that his mother physically molested him as a child.

International Boxing Star

De La Hoya converted his mother’s wish into a powerful focus for his training as the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, approached. After defeating Cuban boxer Julio Gonzalez in the first round, De La Hoya defeated German boxer Marco Rudolph to earn gold and become the first American boxer to leave Barcelona with a medal.

De La Hoya turned professional following the 1992 Olympics, defeating Lamar Williams in the first round on November 23, 1992, in Inglewood, California. During his first year as a professional, he compiled an extremely successful record, and on March 5, 1994, he won his first professional title, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight championship, with a technical knockout (TKO) of Danish fighter Jimmi Bredahl in the tenth round of the fight. De La Hoya won the WBO lightweight title four months later, knocking out Jorge Paez in the second round.

After defeating John Molina, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion, in February 1995, De La Hoya knocked out Rafael Ruelas in less than five minutes to capture the IBF lightweight title and improve his overall record to 18-0.

Despite De La Hoya’s prominence as boxing’s “Golden Boy,” some detractors believed he had not faced enough quality opponents. The majority of these misgivings were dispelled in June 1996, when De La Hoya faced Julio Cesar Chavez, an experienced and popular Mexican boxer and the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) junior welterweight champion. De La Hoya had sparred with Chavez as an amateur and been knocked down, but the outcome was different this time. De La Hoya pounded fan favorite Chavez with strikes, causing a cut over the champion’s eye before the fight was stopped in the fourth round and De La Hoya declared the winner.

De La Hoya successfully defended his junior welterweight title in January 1997. Moving up to 147 pounds, he won the WBC welterweight title in April of that year in Las Vegas, defeating defending champion and 1984 Olympic gold winner Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whittaker, a pro champion in four weight classes. With his victory, De La Hoya cemented his reputation as the finest boxer in the world pound-for-pound.

De La Hoya held the welterweight title until September 18, 1999, when he faced the hard-hitting Felix Trinidad in one of the decade’s most anticipated battles. Trinidad handed De La Hoya his first loss ever in a 12-round unanimous decision for the WBC welterweight belt as a record-breaking number of viewers watched the bout on pay-per-view television. A second defeat against “Sugar” Shane Mosley in 2000 forced De La Hoya to retire from boxing.

Outside the Ring

De La Hoya’s excellent looks and unquestionable talent made him a fan and media favorite from the start of his career. Outside the ring, he became America’s best-known boxer, winning admiration for his charitable and community service initiatives, which included establishing a nonprofit foundation and a children boxing center in his former East Los Angeles neighborhood. On the EMI/Latin label, De La Hoya published his first album in both English and Spanish in 2000. The album, titled Oscar, topped Latin dance charts, and a single, “Ven a Mi,” was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Golden Boy Promotions, a play on his nickname, was formed by De La Hoya in 2002. World Boxing Organization minimumweight world champion Oscar Collazo, as well as World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association women’s flyweight world champion Marlen Esparza, are now represented by the brand.

Maturing Boxer and Retirement

De La Hoya made his comeback in March 2001, defeating Arturo Gatti in the fifth round in his first bout back. On June 23, same year, De La Hoya upset Spain’s defending WBC super welterweight (154-pound) champion, Javier Castillejo, in 12 rounds to earn his fifth title in as many weight divisions, tying his idol, Sugar Ray Leonard. He was the youngest boxer in history to win five world titles at the age of 28.

However, not everything has gone smoothly for this boxing superstar. In 2004, he lost a middleweight title bout against Bernard Hopkins. De La Hoya took a break from the ring to concentrate on other elements of his life. De La Hoya, who was already well-known as a boxing promoter, expanded his firm in 2006. He unveiled Golden Boy Partners, a new real estate business that would build retail, commercial, and residential complexes in metropolitan Latino communities.

De La Hoya was knocked out in the eighth round by Manny Pacquiao in 2008. The fight catapulted Pacquiao to superstardom and was viewed as a symbolic changing of the guard at the top of the sport. De La Hoya announced his retirement from boxing on April 14, 2009.

Attempted Comeback

De La Hoya declared in March 2021 that he would return to the ring at the age of 48. On September 11, he was slated to meet UFC champion Vitor Belfort in an exhibition match. However, De La Hoya was unable to fight after acquiring COVID-19, and Evander Holyfield, then 58, was appointed his replacement.

De La Hoya revealed in 2022 that he was relieved the fight with Belfort never happened. “I’m glad I didn’t fight this monster of a fighter because he’s a big guy, and he knows what he’s doing,” De La Hoya said on “The MMA Hour” podcast. “He’s gifted. We could still throw punches notwithstanding our age. We saw Evander Holyfield do it when he knocked him out (in the first round). “I think I escaped with my life.”

De La Hoya also stated that he would never box again and would instead concentrate on promoting.

Relationships and Children

In 1997, De La Hoya began dating actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, and the couple married a year later. They had one kid, Atiana, in 1999, but never married and divorced in September 2000, after Moakler watched video of the boxer accompanying another woman to the Latin Grammys.

Only a few months later, in December 2000, Moakler launched a palimony suit against the former champion for $62.5 million to support the couple’s kid. She said De La Hoya drank regularly and that she “sacrificed” her bright career to care for their daughter and De La Hoya’s demands. They reached an out-of-court settlement in 2001.

That same year, De La Hoya married singer Millie Corretjer. Oscar Gabriel, his first kid, was born in December 2005 to him and his wife. Nina Lauren, their second child, was born in 2007, and Victoria Lauren Rose, their third, was born in 2014. De La Hoya and Corretjer separated in 2016, and the boxer filed for divorce in January 2023, citing irreconcilable differences.

De La Hoya also has two sons from past relationships: Jacob with Toni Alvarado in February 1998 and Devon with Angelique McQueen in November 1998.

De La Hoya has been open about his uninvolved parenting style, telling Entertainment Tonight in July 2023, “Look, I didn’t raise my kids, you know?” “Their mothers did it, and I must give credit where credit is due.”

In 2021, the boxer began dating model and sports broadcaster Holly Sonders, and the couple was still together in July 2023.

Scandals and Controversies

Three times, De La Hoya has been accused of s**ual assault. In 1998, a 15-year-old girl claimed De La Hoya raped and imprisoned her in a hotel room in Mexico. Three years later, the case was resolved out of court.

In 2017, an anonymous lady filed a legal claim against De La Hoya, accusing him of assault, battery, and gender aggression and labeling him “malicious.” The woman abandoned the complaint in 2020, and it was unclear whether a settlement was reached.

Then, in 2022, a Casa Mexico Tequila distillery executive accused De La Hoya of two instances of s++ual assault. The case’s status is unknown.

De La Hoya has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life, entering rehab in 2011 and 2013. In 2007, risqué images of De La Hoya in fishnets, high heels, and lingerie surfaced. Although he initially denied their validity, the boxer confessed in a 2011 interview that the photos were taken while he was high on booze and cocaine. He also acknowledged to having suicidal thoughts as a result of the scandal. “One of these nights, intoxicated and alone, I asked myself, ‘Is it worth it to be alive?’ “I was already feeling like I had nothing,” De La Hoya told the New York Post.

Oscar De La Hoya Net Worth

De La Hoya’s net worth is estimated to be approximately $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. His post-boxing career as a promoter and investor contributed significantly to his income.

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