Oscar De La Hoya: "It has been an honor to fight all of my fights for each and every one of you"
LOS ANGELES (April 14) -Famed boxing champion and future Hall of Fame fighter Oscar de la Hoya, one of the most decorated pugilist in the history of the sport, retired as a professional today during a noon press conference in Nokia Plaza LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Article posted on 15.04.2009
"After heartfelt discussions with my family and my closest friends, it is with deep gratitude and appreciation that I announce my retirement from professional boxing," said De La Hoya, who retires from the ring with a 39-6, 30 KOs record.. "Boxing has been the single, most consistent part of my life and although I will miss the ring, I know that it is time for me to step away from the sport competitively and become more active in the other aspects of it that are already in place and ready for me to pursue."
"My career has been nothing short of magical and I am forever grateful to all of the people who made it possible," continued De La Hoya. "Most importantly I deeply appreciate all of my fans who showered me with their cheers and support, consistently holding me up throughout my 17-year professional career. I believe the true meaning of my career was not in the winning or losing, but in the gift of sharing my fights with all of them, as I never imagined it would mean so much to so many. It has been an honor to fight all of my fights for each and every one of you."
De La Hoya will now take an even more substantial role in Golden Boy Promotions, working alongside the company's CEO Richard Schaefer to continue to deliver quality boxing events around the world.
"This is truly a bittersweet day for boxing and its fans throughout the world as Oscar's name has been synonymous with the sport for nearly two decades," said Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions. "It is been a privilege and honor for me to work with this amazing champion and watch the brilliance of his career both in and out of the ring. As one of my closest friends, both personally and professionally, I look forward to working with Oscar as he takes a more active role in Golden Boy Promotions now that he is no longer competing in the sport."
Originally from East Los Angeles, where as a young child he laced up a pair of boxing gloves for the first time at four years old, he began his amateur career several years later and started dreaming of professional success. The 10-time world champion, who collected titles in six different weight divisions, has long been considered the most influential fighter of the sports modern era.
"Oscar de la Hoya has left an indelible legacy in and out of the ring," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "This son of East L.A. has made the City of Angels proud, not only for his ten championships in six weight divisions, but for never forgetting his roots and giving back to his community."
Having turned professional immediately following his 1992 Olympic gold medal victory in Barcelona, Spain, De La Hoya immediately turned in to a box office success. His popularity and following made him the highest grossing non-heavyweight fighter the history of the sport. Participating in 19 pay-per-view fights, De La Hoya drew over 14.1 million pay-per-view buys and over $696 million dollars in pay-per-view revenue throughout his career. He appeared in three of the top eight highest grossing pay-per-view boxing events including the granddaddy of them all - hissuper-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2007, which shattered the all-time pay-per-view record with 2.4 million homes in addition to generating a record-setting live gate of $19 million. It was the first pay-per-view fight to be purchased by over two million homes.
"Oscar de la Hoya has fashioned a storybook career through hard work, dedication, talent and the commitment to fighting the best fighters in the biggest fights," said Ross Greenburg, President of HBO Sports. "HBO has had the privilege of televising his fights since 1993 and we watched him develop into a champion and a gracious ambassador for the sport."
"The Golden Boy's" Hall of Fame-bound career has seen him win 10 world championships in every division from 130 to 160 pounds while facing the elite of the sport including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Julio Cesar Chavez, Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Arturo Gatti, Genaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija and Hector Camacho Sr. Along the way, De La Hoya has become boxing's undisputed superstar and his acclaimed career and popularity will be remembered for decades to come.
"I marvel at my son's success and know that all of the hard work and dedication he had when he was a kid and during the formative years of his boxing training made him the champion he became," said Joel De La Hoya Sr. "I am extremely proud of my son and know he has achieved everything possible in the ring. It is now time for him to enjoy his family and pursue in earnest all of the other opportunities that await him."
In addition to his success inside the ring, De La Hoya has made a conscious effort to generously give back to the same community which played such an integral role in making it possible for him to achieve such success. The Oscar de la Hoya Foundation was created in 1995 to bring a better quality of life to the people of East Los Angeles. The foundation provides funding for a number of projects including the Cecilia Gonzalez de la Hoya Cancer Center, the Oscar de la Hoya Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit and the Oscar de la Hoya Labor and Delivery Center, all located at the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles. In addition to his efforts to support medical care for citizens of East Los Angeles, De La Hoya's dedication to education in the East Los Angeles area led him to establish the Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School in 2003 which now serves over 500 students in grades nine through twelve and is ranked among the top 10 percent of schools in the state of California that serve similar communities. US News and World Report ranked the Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School #53 out of the top 100 in the entire nation.
Most importantly De La Hoya will now have more time to spend with his wife Millie and children.
"In closing, I want to acknowledge my wonderful wife Millie, my children and my entire family who have been extremely supportive and patient with me, sacrificing a tremendous amount of our time together in order for me to pursue my career," said De La Hoya. "Now it is time for me to be there for them."
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