Greatest Hits Volume 2: Oscar De La Hoya

Day 11: Today we take a look at boxings “Golden Boy”, Oscar Dela Hoya. Over the last few years he’s been highly acclaimed for his talents away from the ring, (singing, promoting, etc.), but today we take a look at what gave him his credibility in the ring, and why he will undoubtedly go down as one of the best to ever lace ’em up. Oscar Dela Hoya vs Julio Caesar Chavez II This matchup was a sequel to the initial matchup where Oscar Dela Hoya was victorious in a stunning fashion. A young and determined Oscar would prove to the world once and for all that he was destined to be one of the greats. From the beginning of the fight Oscar came out ready to drop bombs and make it a short night. His interest in having the fight stopped early would somewhat work against him at one point as he completely went away from the gameplan and turned the fight into a brawl as opposed to simply out boxing the older challenger. After landing a few shots and taking a few as well, Oscar went to work with digging body shots and combinations to the head. The older challenger initially didn’t back down as he was able to land some flush shots that got the attention of DLH but in the 7th round Oscar seemed to revert back to his true style by boxing, not brawling and it seemed to be the antidote as the beating he would give his challenger would force the older fighter to do something he’d never done before…known for an ‘Iron heart’, Chavez would sit on his stool and refuse to return to action. It went down in the books as an 8th round TKO as one legend’s career was ending and another’s had just began. Oscar Dela Hoya vs Ike Quartey (02/13/99) This was a fight that matched up two great boxers. One with great skills and alot of heart, against another who had great skills and a patented ‘bazooka’ jab that was so potent it should have been illegal. As great as the ‘bazooka’ jab was in previous fights for Quartey, on this night it would be somewhat nullified as DLH was content staying on the outside and picking his spots to alleviate the possibility of getting caught with the threatening jab too often. Quartey would connect a couple times in the later rounds but DLH’s overall ability was simply too much, or at least in the eyes of the judges. In the later rounds Quartey got DLH’s attention with a series of flush shots, one which badly bruised DLH’s left eye but the Champion’s heart was still eager to fight on and find ways to improvise. In the 12th and decisive round the “Goldenboy” ducked underneath a jab thrown by Quartey and connected with his patented left hook and sent the challenger to the mat. Quartey would be on his feet shaking his head, ready to rumble at the count of two and he stormed forward and put up a very valiant effort as DLH had apparently punched himself out. When the score cards were read DLH was listed as the winner of a split decision and although many fans were highly disappointed at what was termed a ‘gift decision’, the one thing no one could deny was the way that DLH’s heart allowed him to fight through fumes as the Champ was clearly ‘punched out’ and had no gas left in the tank. The two would never agree to a rematch at the dismay of boxing fans globally. Oscar Dela Hoya vs Fernando Vargas (09/14/02) This fight was all about bad blood. All the hatred and antics dished in the pre-fight buildup would be far from absent when the bell rang as the two sluggers did exactly that from the opening bell until the end. Unfortunately for Vargas the end wouldn’t come by way of the 12th round, but rather an early stoppage as the inability to avoid the jab became Vargas’ unfortunate undoing. Throughout most of the fight the action went back and fourth as DLH landed his jab and his cross while Vargas pushed DLH around, particularly closer to the ropes where his size was a factor. There was no clear cut leader throughout the fight until the midway point when DLH began to take control and Vargas’ output started to wane a bit. After finding his range and starting to connect with everything in his arsenal, DLH landed a left hook flush to the cheek that sent the tough challenger on his back. He was able to get back to his feet but the night would end shortly after as DLH quickly finished him off and silenced the challenger once and for all. The fight ended as an 11th round TKO. These are only three fights in a long list of battles that Oscar Dela Hoya has been a part of. These three victories showed exactly why Oscar is known to have a heart of a champion. The odds were against him to some degree in each of these battles but at the end of the day, he persevered and overcame everything these fellas threw at him (figuratively) by adapting and throwing something better (literally) at them. Tomorrow, we reach day #10 on the countdown as we shift the focus from the triumphant nights of these two legends to some not so great performances. In a sport where greatness is defined in many different ways, one thing that has never been a secret is that styles make fights. We’ve seen what these guys have done to overcome tough odds, but now we’re gonna take a look at what these guys have done in the ring when the odds turned against them. Our first installment of this back to back set on the two fighters will be: When Trouble Looms: Volume 1…”Oscar In Adversity”. This will be followed by: When Trouble Looms: Volume 2…”Floyd In Adversity”.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.