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Oscar de la Hoya: 1973—: Boxer Biography

Started Boxing At An Early Age, Won Olympic Gold, Became Knock-out King, Capitalized On Golden Boy Image

Oscar De La Hoya: 1973—: Boxer.

Oscar De La Hoya became the "Golden Boy" of boxing with his surprising win of a gold medal in the 1992 Olympic Games. Since then he has captured five boxing titles in five different weight classes, ranking him among boxing's elite. He has often been referred to as the best contemporary American boxer.

Oscar De La Hoya was born on February 4, 1973 in East Los Angeles, California. His parents had immigrated to the United States from Mexico. De La Hoya's family was poor when he was growing up. His father, Joel,Sr., worked as a warehouse clerk for a heating and cooling company and his mother, Cecilia, was a seamstress. De La Hoya had two siblings—an older brother named Joel Jr. and a younger sister, Ceci.

Boxing was a tradition in the De La Hoya family. De La Hoya's paternal grandfather, Vincente, was an amateur featherweight in Durango, Mexico, and his father had a brief professional boxing career in the United States with a 9-3-1 lightweight record. As De La Hoya told Interview magazine, "Boxing has been in my blood since I can remember. It comes naturally to me, and I've enjoyed it ever since I started, at the age of six." As a child De La Hoya would join his father and older brother at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena. The family had assumed that Joel, as the oldest son, would continue the family's boxing tradition. De La Hoya himself admitted that he was an unlikely candidate to become a boxer. "I was a little kid who used to fight a lot in the street—and get beat up," he told Sports Illustrated.

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