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Quotes On Oscar De La Hoya’s Career And Retirement

I decided to put together some of what the best boxing writers are saying across the web about Oscar De La Hoya in one post for you all to read.

But first, our own Duan has his thoughts on De La Hoya.

Firstly, I will say that Oscar De La Hoya’s place in history is secured. He has had a wonderful career and has nothing left to prove. And with that in mind, it’s very hard for me to question his decision. However, I believe that Oscar still had a lot to offer boxing had he chose to fight on.

Nobody wants to see a great champion go out in the way he did against Pacquiao. He had a bad night against Manny. He is no longer capable of fighting that light, and it took a huge physical toll on him to make weight. The other thing that really hurt him in that fight was Pacquiao’s superior speed and movement. That difference wouldn’t have been anywhere near as pronounced had he been matched up with guys more his own weight.

I would have liked to see Oscar take one more shot up at junior middleweight. He would be comfortable at 154, and it would give you a fairer reflection of where he stands as a fighter today. Everybody is entitled to their off days, and one bad performance doesn’t necessarily make him a spent fighter. People seem to forget that he gave Mayweather all he could handle not that long ago.

I wanted to see him take a tune up fight where he could get a win, and work from there. If he still didn’t believe he was able to compete after that, at least he would get to go out with his arm raised. If all went well, they could plan another big super fight with Mosley or even Chavez Jr. At the end of the day, Oscar gave boxing fans a lot of great nights, and I feel that he deserves a better send off than what we saw back in December.

Dave “Large” Larzelere from The Sporting News
He acquired the reputation of a pretty-boy front-runner, a rich quitter. It was a reputation that he didn’t quite deserve — one need only consult the tape on his wars with Fernando Vargas and Ike Quartey to know that much — but one that he couldn’t shake nevertheless.

He also added:
So Oscar rides off into the sunset today with a mixed legacy, to put it mildly. We will no doubt remember him as one of the great salesmen and stars the sport has ever known, a star so powerful that he could carry boxing through a dark period where marketable heavyweights all but disappeared on us.

But when it comes to being remembered as a great fighter, I think that most fight fans will agree that Oscar, as he did in so many of his most famous fights, comes up just a few rounds short of the decision.

Tim Starks from The Queensberry Rules
I’ve never had the conflicted feelings toward De La Hoya endemic to so many hardcore boxing fans. Certainly, I understood some of the animosity toward him for his wishy-washy act, both in the ring and out of it. But what I saw was a very good fighter — a Hall of Famer, for sure, but not as good as he could have or should have been — who had helped keep the sport afloat by repeatedly challenging the best competition he could and usually putting on a nice show in the process, win or lose. He’s the “most lucrative boxer ever,” giving lie to the repeated claims that boxing is a dead sport. And it’s not as if other beloved athletes didn’t put up glossy fronts the way De La Hoya did. You think the Michael Jordan in television interviews was the real Michael Jordan? If you do, then Jordan’s act was only more convincing somehow, but no less of an act.

He also said:
As a fighter, he had a nasty left hook — one of boxing’s best, historically — excellent boxing ability, speed and power especially in the lower weight divisions, good defense and a great chin. The rest of what he offered was less dependable. His stamina was frequently a problem. When he worked his jab, which he sometimes forgot to do, he was very hard to beat. He showed mental toughness more often than not, but it abandoned him at key moments, such as over the last half of the Mayweather fight. I think some of his mental issues were related to a constant switching of trainers, which made him seem uncertain at times. I also maintain that difficulty pleasing a stern father inhibited him; he wanted to please fans, but often seemed unsure how to do so.

SC from Bad Left Hook
He will — fair or not — be remembered by many boxing fans for his failures to beat Pacquiao, Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, and Mayweather in the final stretch of his career. But personally I’ll remember Oscar as an immeasurable help to the sport of boxing from 1992 through 2008. He came into the sport a superstar Olympian, and he leaves it having done more financially than any fighter ever has. He even changed the rules of major promotion in America. No one should forget that Golden Boy Promotions started with many people scoffing at the idea; because of his success, it seems every fighter at least has some prop promotional company (Jeff Lacy, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Roy Jones Jr., Floyd Mayweather, and so on). But none of them have come close to what Oscar, Richard Schaefer and the other fighter-promoters have done with Golden Boy. And they probably never will.

He now steps back to exist in this sport entirely as a promoter. At 36, it’s seemed for a while now that he’s had far more passion for that side of the business anyway. He’s not been the “old” Oscar in the ring lately, and given his level of comfort and other business interests, it’s not really realistic to expect that he would be.

Happy trails, Oscar, even though you won’t be going far.

Dan Rafael from ESPN.com
And De La Hoya doesn’t owe anything to anybody. He can walk away with his head held high after a memorable career in which he became the most popular fighter of his era.

Maybe he wasn’t the absolute best, and maybe he lost some of his biggest fights, but so what? He dared to be great. He fought everybody, and he was awfully good. That left hook was a thing of beauty.

Bill Dwyre from The LA Times
“I understand why athletes have such a hard time retiring,” De La Hoya said in his speech. “You always think you can do it one more time.”

So did Muhammad Ali, the late Jerry and Mike Quarry, even Freddie Roach himself, all affected neurologically, at least in part, by too many punches to the head.

“I promised myself, my family, everybody, that this is it,” De La Hoya said.

The legendary George Foreman said the same thing 16 years ago, only about De La Hoya. HBO executive Mark Taffet told the story of being on a train during a whistle-stop promotion for the Foreman-Tommy Morrison fight. He said Foreman pointed to the front of the train, at a young De La Hoya, along to fight on the undercard.

“See that kid up there,” Foreman said. “That’s the future of boxing.”

For boxing, that was a passage.

Tuesday, in a big plaza in the entertainment center of a big city, with more than 40 cameras on tripods snapping away from risers, with microphones and pads and pencils everywhere, and a giant TV screen looming overhead, there was another.

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