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Oscar de la Hoya: 1973—: Boxer

Capitalized On Golden Boy Image

De La Hoya built his career not only on his professional accomplishments, but also on his popularity with the media. His good looks, rags-to-riches life story, and charming personality made him one of the public's best known and most liked boxers. He was confident, ambitious, and successful. "I want to make history," he told Sport magazine, "I want to win seven world championships in seven different weight classes from 130 pounds to 168 pounds." He told Sports Illustrated for Kids that his secret for success was the "D formula." "My three D's are dedication, discipline, and desire." De La Hoya capitalized on the "Golden Boy" image in the ring through lucrative deals with HBO to televise his fights. He also cashed in on his success outside of the ring as a spokesperson for Champion athletic shoes, B.U.M. equipment clothing, Levi, John Henry Menswear, and McDonald's, among others.

However, De La Hoya's success has not made him popular with some members of the Hispanic community. In fact, one of his biggest professional successes actually decreased his popularity. In 1996 De La Hoya beat the famous Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, his boyhood boxing idol, in a bloody battle for the World Boxing Council super lightweight title. Some Hispanics were disenchanted by the Golden Boy's pummeling of a hero. In addition, De La Hoya has been labeled a "sellout" because of his financial success. He moved out of the barrio to a wealthy neighborhood and he spends his free time at country clubs or on the golf course. This has led some to accuse him of abandoning his Mexican-American roots. In 1996 an article in Esquire magazine described " the contradictions that define Oscar De La Hoya. He's the pretty boy of an ugly business; a child star spinning in a constellation of has-beens; Mexican by blood, American in his inclinations; barrio by birth, country club by preference." In addition, De La Hoya's personal life generated some negative press. He was engaged a few times, he fathered two children out of wedlock, and he faced a palimony suit by ex-fiancée and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Craig David Biography - Became Teenage MC to Herman Edwards BiographyOscar de la Hoya: 1973—: Boxer Biography - Started Boxing At An Early Age, Won Olympic Gold, Became Knock-out King, Capitalized On Golden Boy Image