Oscar De La Hoya named ‘Promoter of the Year’ by Sports Illustrated
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, who has repaired his relationships with longtime rival, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum and the HBO network, is “humbled and honored” by his being named Promoter of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
A winner of 10 title belts over six different weight classes during his professional boxing career, De La Hoya, 41, was also inducted into the International Hall of Fame’s class of 2014 in June.
“I’m humbled and honored and thank Sports Illustrated for this incredible recognition,” said De La Hoya, who went 39-6 with 30 knockouts and won titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds in the ring.
“When I was inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame in June, I made a promise that Golden Boy Promotions would focus all of its energies on a simple premise – bringing the best fights to the fans of our sport. In 2014, we started to deliver on that promise.”
In mid-September, De La Hoya informed RingTV.com that he planned to speak with adviser “Al Haymon about various possibilities” for matching his boxers against those promoted by Arum.
In late September, De La Hoya orchestrated the signing of a long-term deal between HBO and RING No. 1-rated junior middleweight and former 154-pound titleholder Canelo Alvarez, who had fought on Showtime since September 2012.
Since then, De La Hoya and Arum have discussed making a fight between Alvarez, of Mexico, and RING middleweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico. Alvarez has agreed to the terms of his side of the deal and awaits the same from Cotto.
“De La Hoya has re-established himself as a force on the promotional landscape. He has repaired Golden Boy’s relationship with HBO,” read the article in Sports Illustrated, in part, and “restored a working relationship with rival Top Rank and continued to build junior middleweight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez into one of the biggest stars in boxing. At 41, De La Hoya’s fighting days are long behind him but his best days as a promoter lie ahead.”
During a September appearance on an episode of HBO’s “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley,” De La Hoya and Arum discussed their “reconciliation” toward ending their promotional “Cold War” as well as soothing the rancor between Arum and Haymon, whose many fighters, including Floyd Mayweather Jr., have traditionally been promoted by Golden Boy.
De La Hoya visited Arum in his Las Vegas-based offices earlier in September after Arum had called his relationship with De La Hoya “totally repaired” following a meeting in May. Their union, however, led to the June resignation of longtime Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who did not get along with Arum.
On March 18, 2013, HBO announced that it was severing ties with Golden Boy, this after having televised a fight on March 9 that was promoted by Golden Boy, in which Bernard Hopkins unanimously decisioned Tavoris Cloud for the IBF’s light heavyweight belt.
In August, however, De La Hoya orchestrated a return to HBO to have Hopkins to defend his IBF and WBA titles against WBO beltholder Sergey Kovalev, who unanimously decisioned Hopkins last month. Kovalev-Hopkins was secured following a negotiation between Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez and Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events.
As a result, Duva dropped a lawsuit filed in April against Haymon, promoter Yvon Michel, Showtime and Golden Boy charging those parties with interfering with a tentative fight between Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson, the latter of whom is aligned with Showtime.
“But we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Working with our outstanding stable of fighters, our fellow promoters and everyone else in our sport who shares our goals, 2015 is primed to be a huge year for boxing,” said De La Hoya. “I’ll never forget that boxing is for the fans. I do this for the fans. I want them to get the fights they want to see and I won’t rest until that happens.”
In early September, De La Hoya was honored in Las Vegas by Nevada State senator Ruben Kihuen and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly in appreciation for the nearly billion dollars in tourism revenue De La Hoya generated for the county and the Las Vegas Strip over the course of his career.
De La Hoya, who fought in Nevada 28 times, dedicated his career to his mother, Cecilia, who died of breast cancer in October 1990. Cecilia passed wishing that her son would triumph in the Olympics, which he eventually did by earning the gold medal with a victory over Germany’s Marco Rudolph on August 8, 1992 in Barcelona, Spain.
A Mexican-American from East Los Angeles, De La Hoya turned professional as the “Golden Boy” under Arum with a first-round knockout of Lamar Williams in November 1992.