Oscar De La Hoya Gets His Gold Medal Back

By Matthew Hurley: On Monday afternoon Top Rank promoter Bob Arum returned Oscar De La Hoya’s gold medal to him in an ongoing truce between his promotional firm and Oscar’s Golden Boy Promotions. Oscar had given the medal to Arum on his 65th birthday back in 1996 while still under contract with Arum and Top Rank..

“I was appreciative of his gesture,” Arum said. “But I always maintained that I didn’t win the medal, he won this medal, and that when he retired I would return it to him.” Sentiments aside, possession of the medal has long been a thorn in De La Hoya’s side. Before Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions finally jumped into bed together – for the benefit of boxing – Oscar would intermittently harp on Arum’s not giving the medal back to him. Both men became bitter enemies after De La Hoya left Arum in 2004 to start up his own promotional company.

The results were disastrous for the boxing community. It culminated in a laughable contract dispute over superstar super featherweight Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao, no businessman, apparently took money from Golden Boy Promotions after his victory over Erik Morales in their rubber match and then reneged on a potential signing with the company and signed with Arum. The bad blood caused a potential freeze out of Top Rank fighters taking on Golden Boy Promotion fighters because the two presidents of the respective companies couldn’t stand one another.

But with any corporation money is always the deciding factor and Arum and his former fighter De La Hoya love money as much as they love the limelight. A truce was bargained and suddenly one great fight after another is being made. The first bout to be signed was the rematch between Pacquiao, a Top Rank fighter, and Marco Antonio Barrera, a Golden Boy Promotions fighter. That was soon followed by the signing of Sugar Shane Mosley, a Golden Boy Promotions fighter, and Miguel Cotto, a Top Rank fighter. Both fights have fans salivating and stocking their refrigerators with beer for what should be two great nights of boxing.

It didn’t come down to just the medal of course, it was all about ego. Nevertheless, this united front lets everyone, most importantly the boxing fans, win out in the end. Great match ups is what this sport needs to keep long time fans interested and gain new fans.

Arum returned the medal to De La Hoya, the medal Oscar had promised to win for his dying mother, at the Cecilia De La Hoya Cancer Center at white Memorial Hospital in East Los Angeles. Oscar then gave the medal to the center where it will be on display until the end of the year. His mother passed away at the hospital in 1991.

Article posted on 02.10.2007

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