Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oscar De La Hoya: A Sports Legend

You may not have heard, but Oscar De La Hoya retired the other day from boxing, and it could be very well be the end of boxing.

De La Hoya was overall 39-6 and sadly is most remembered for losing 4 of his last 7 fights. Yet, it needs to be remembered that he lost to undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, Sugar Shane Mosely twice one of which he admitted to using steroids, and Manny Pacquio who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world right now. His other loss was to Felix Trinidad, which was such a bad decision that an investigation was actually launched into the decision, but then again De La Hoya won a decision against Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitiker that was equally as bad.

But the important thing to remember about Oscar De La Hoya is his impact on the sport. He has single handed kept boxing a float in the past decade. He has not avoided the big time boxers. He fought and won titles in four different weight classes. He fought Mayweather and set records for PPV. He had previously set records with his bout against Felix Trinidad. He has also promoted several fights, such as the Mayweather bout, that have done great things for the sport. Yet, without De La Hoya boxing will probably die. Mayweather retired and then tried to come back versus Ricky Hatton, but that was not the success that boxing needed. Now Mayweather is back in retirement. Hopkins has retired, and Pacquio has no one of worth to fight plus he is not a draw in America. And the heavyweight division is destroyed and worthless.

The sport of boxing has always been of interest to me, but now it is being surpassed as it is full of drug users, violent criminals, and bad actors. It is a shame that the days of Sugar Ray and Marvolous Marvin Hagglar are all gone. It is a sad thing.

4 Comments:

eileen~ said...

Have you ever seen the movie "Cinderella Man" about the boxer Jim Braddock? I don't like boxing but that was a great story based on his life. It was during the depression and the movie portrays, not only his boxing ability but his integrity and his honesty during such hard times, certainly not like today's boxing scene. It was really good! I couldn't watch all the boxing scenes clear through, I'd have to hide my eyes. I've never quite understood the draw of the sport. :)

Andrew McIntyre said...

I love that movie, although it is not very fair to Max Baer. He wasn't really the monster he is made out to be. But, every movie needs a clear bad guy in order to be compelling.

I agree regarding the sport's health. Further, it has lost much of its fan base to UFC. While many criticize UFC for being a bit barbaric, I find it refreshing after suffering through the nonsense of the boxing industry. There is a certain virtue and truth forced when two skilled men are placed within an octagon and given every means at their disposal (with consideration to the preservation of life and the exclusion of dirty tactics) to win. It is far more real on many levels than boxing.

Peace to you,

Andy+

Lee said...

Eileen,
I did see Cinderella Man. It was a very good movie. Excellent acting and a good script.

Andy,
The other thing UFC has going for it is clear cut titles. Dividing champions into WBC, WBO, IBF, and whatever else has ruined the sport. You know who is the champ in UFC. Not to mention a cable channel all can view to create interest in the sport. Boxing should not have left TV for PPV.

Andrew said...

Lee,

True, plus it is MMA, which means the fighters are not just the best punchers or the most skilled at a very specific sporting style. They are the best fighters, period, on the planet.

Peace to you,

Andy