5: TKO2 Rafael Ruelas, 6th May, 1995.
Arguably De La Hoya’s first really big fight, the 22-year-old “Golden Boy” put on a sensational showing. Defending his WBO lightweight strap and challenging for Ruelas’ IBF version, Oscar made a partial unification of the lightweight crowns look almost easy. Loaded with power, speed and accuracy, De La Hoya utterly destroyed his rival. Knocking Ruelas down twice in the 2nd round, with a superb left hook the first time, De La Hoya got the job done seconds later as Richard Steele dived in and saved a defenceless Ruelas at 1 minute and 43-seconds of the round. More than a few people had predicted a Ruelas win going into this fight.