Miguel Cotto takes the great welterweight challenge vs. Martinez
Oscar De La Hoya
One of the biggest stars of the sport in the 1990s and 2000s (arguably the biggest along with Mike Tyson), De La Hoya won major titles in six weight classes and fought the best fighters of most of those divisions, including undefeated standouts like Genearo Hernandez, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Ike Quartey and Felix Sturm. The 1992 Olympic gold medalist earned his many accolades by facing fellow future hall of famers Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Won welterweight title: On April 12, 1997, outpointing Whitaker over 12 rounds to claim the WBC belt.
Fought for middleweight title(s): On June 5, 2004, outpointing Sturm via close and controversial unanimous decision; and on Sept. 18, 2004, getting stopped by Hopkins in Round 9 of their undisputed championship bout.
Hall of fame induction: 2014
Young Corbett III – a 1930s standout who won the NBA version of the welterweight title from fellow hall of famer Jackie Fields (as well as victories over all-time greats Mickey Walker and Billy Conn) was stopped by Fred Apostoli (who held the New York State version of the “world” middleweight title in November 1938.
Tommy Ryan – a talented standout of the late 1800s who won the world welterweight title with a 20-round decision over fellow hall of famer Mysterious Billy Smith in July 1894, also won a 20-round decision over Jack Bonner to claim the middleweight title in October 1898.
Marlon Starling – a perennial welterweight contender and two-time titleholder of the 1980s who lost a majority decision to IBF middleweight beltholder Michael Nunn in April 1990.
Simon Brown – a fearsome welterweight and junior middleweight titleholder who dropped a unanimous decision to WBO middleweight beltholder Lonnie Bradley in August 1996 and was stopped by Bernard Hopkins in Round 6 of their IBF title bout in January 1998.
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