Oscar De La Hoya charmed the world when, at eighteen, he took home the gold medal from the 1992 Olympics, launching his professional boxing career and earning him his famous moniker, The Golden Boy. He went on to win ten world championships across six different weight divisions making him one of the most celebrated professional fighters in the sport’s storied history. The impoverished young boy from East Los Angeles had arrived, and the city made him their hometown hero, eventually erecting a statue in his honor in 2008 (created by Erik Blome) which sits on the grounds of the Crypto.com arena.
De La Hoya launched his Oscar De La Hoya Foundation, giving back to the residents of East LA, and furthering his Golden Boy image.
Internally, De La Hoya was feeling crippled from a childhood filled with trauma and abuse, and cracks in his well-crafted image began to show. In the early 2000s, he walked away from his ex-partner, model and media personality Shanna Moakler and their then-young daughter, Atiana De La Hoya. His two other now-adult children, Jacob and Devon, suffered the same fate with an absent De La Hoya during their upbringings. Problems compounded when a burned-out De La Hoya all but threw a fight against Manny Pacquiao after eight painful rounds, marking the beginning of the end of his boxing career.
Substance abuse and questionable romantic entanglements followed, as did scandal and multiple lawsuits. The former boxing champ eventually rebounded with Golden Boy Promotions, De La Hoya’s national boxing promotion company, which promotes some of the biggest and highest-grossing events in the sport of boxing.
I sat down with Oscar De La Hoya to unpack his life and career, which has been filled with iconic highs and devastating lows, and to learn about where he is now after years of healing and mending his personal relationships.