OSCAR DE LA HOYA was always around, but not like this.
Whether as an active fighter or the president of Golden Boy Promotions, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist and multi-division world champion made his appearances, smiled his megawatt smile, and was never too far away from the boxing spotlight.
But it wasn’t until this year that “The Golden Boy” seemed golden again. Following rehab stints and infighting within his company that resulted in the resignation of longtime CEO Richard Schaefer, as well as several key members of his team, De La Hoya genuinely appears to be happy, or as he puts it, “I’m at peace with myself.”
He repeats it.
“I’m at peace.”
It was a time some didn’t think he would see. Sure, he had the money compiled from his storied career and his promotional business, but when he had his dark days, they were dark, and he could have easily wound up as a cautionary tale.
De La Hoya had no doubts though.
“I’m a fighter.”
One who had plenty to fight for, whether it was his family, his peace of mind or his company. The first two were no brainers. When it comes to the third, many assumed that because Schaefer was so instrumental in building Golden Boy into a boxing juggernaut, De La Hoya would be content to sit back, watch his bank account swell, and leave his involvement to making appearances at press conferences and events. That wasn’t enough for him.
“It’s the love for the sport,” he said, when asked why he wanted to take the reins of his company once more. “I believe in boxing, I believe in Golden Boy, and I still believe in my vision. My vision was derailed along the way for several years without me knowing, but I have the bull by the horns and I’m not letting go.”