These days, Oscar De La Hoya makes his money as a boxing promoter, seeking the best talents in the sport and handing the biggest platforms for exhibit their skills.
He even has the proud claim to the much-awaited bout between Gennady Golvkin and Saul Alvarez and he will see that happen in Las Vegas on September 16.
But before the suits and lengthy meetings when trying to negotiate top bouts, Oscar De La Hoya was a top-class boxer with the nickname, “The Golden Boy”.He was the WBC Welterweight champion and one of the best of his generation, and his professional record read: 39 wins, 6 losses in 45 fights.
But he says one bout with Ghana’s Ike Quartey on February 13, 1999, essentially pointed him in the direction of boxing, promotion in the event of his exit from the sport. And he made this revelation in the United States on Thursday on New York-based Power 105’s programme, “The Breakfast Club”, when he was there to speak about the Canelo-GGG bout.
“I was fighting this kid, Ike Quartey, um, I think he was from Africa, from Ghana, and he was a tough, tough son of a…I mean this guy was tough! And he hit me with everything, he dropped me twice and I think I dropped him three times, I needed the last round to win and I finally won but I couldn’t walk for like two weeks afterwards, you know, because I was so sore and it was painful.
“And right then and there, I said to myself ‘I need something to do after boxing’ and so what can I do? I said, you know, let me become a promoter and help these young guys out to establish their own careers.”
The bout in question, which was the 30th of his career, was awarded to De La Hoya via a split decision for him to retain the WBC Welterweight and Lineal titles.
He went to lose his belts to Felix Trinidad in September 1999 in Las Vegas, via a majority decision.
Ike Quartey went to lose to Fernando Vargas in his next bout, won the next three and lose his final two bouts to close his pro career on 37 wins and 4 losses.