As he sat inside an ambulance carrying
Maybe it was time to retire.
Five months later, De La Hoya heeded his partner's advice, announcing his retirement from boxing at the Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles, a stone's throw from the statue erected in his honor and just a few miles from where his boxing career began in East LA. De La Hoya walks away with one of the glitziest trophy cases in professional sports, highlighted by a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics and 10 world titles in six different weight classes. He beat the greats (
To those closest to him, De La Hoya made the right call.
"It was absolutely the right decision," said Schaefer. "It was time. His health is the most important thing. He doesn't need to be putting that at risk anymore."
While De La Hoya's retirement means that the tens of millions of dollars that are generated when he fights will no longer be flowing into Golden Boy Promotion's coffers, Schaefer said the subject of the business never came up in conversations he had with De La Hoya about his future.
"Golden Boy is not a young company anymore," said Schaefer. "We have a lot of great young fighters. And Oscar will still be there to promote them and do interviews about them. The difference is, this time when he talks it will be entirely about [other fighters] and not about his own career. He won't have to face the questions about who he will fight next or respond to some fighter calling him out."
The company is now De La Hoya's future. And his legacy. Certainly, people will remember De La Hoya for his epic, changing-of-the-Mexican-guard fight with Chavez and his slugfests with Mosley. They will remember him as a recession-proof Pay Per View draw (in 19 shows he generated $696.4 million in revenue) and for his Grammy nominated Latin pop album.
OK, maybe not the last one.
But Golden Boy Promotions was a groundbreaking endeavor. When De La Hoya formed the company in 2001 he became the first Hispanic to own a boxing promotion company. As his career continued, De La Hoya began hiring longtime rivals like Mosley and Hopkins as executives, empowering fighters in ways that had never been done before. While De La Hoya was always the primary breadwinner, his personal appeal and strong relationships with HBO quickly lured many of the top fighters to his company. In less than eight years, Golden Boy has established itself as one of the top promoters in the business.
And it will need him, now more than ever. While Golden Boy has some exciting young talents like junior welterweight
That won't be easy. And there is still the possibility that in a few months De La Hoya, his body healed and his spirits high, will get the itch to fight again. All fighters do. But De La Hoya's next fight is with Top Rank's