TMZ: Oscar De La Hoya arrested early Wednesday in Pasadena for DUI

Despite the loss of his company’s CEO and a recent stint in a rehab facility, Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya is back in full swing during a press conference last week in Carson. (Photo by Gene Blevins)

Oscar De La Hoya/Photo by Gene Blevins

 

Oscar De La Hoya told this newspaper during a June 2014 sit-down that he was through with alcohol. This declaration came some nine months after his second trip to a rehab facility, where he was treated for alcohol and cocaine abuse.

But according to TMZ, De La Hoya on early Wednesday was arrested in Pasadena for driving under the influence. There are currently no further details available.

Eric Gomez, De La Hoya’s longtime friend who is also president of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, returned a phone call seeking comment. However, he had little to say because he said he was in the dark until his phone started ringing Wednesday afternoon after he conducted a news conference for Saturday’s Golden Boy card in Indio.

“I can’t comment,” Gomez said. “I don’t have any information to begin with. But the attorneys are looking into everything.”

De La Hoya was asked in June 2014 if he understood he can never drink again. He responded in the affirmative.

“I’m convinced one thousand percent, a thousand percent, that I can’t,” he said. “That’s in my heart, that’s in my head. And that’s why I continue do work every single day. … That’s what it is. For the rest of my life. What that means is several things. I’m going to work harder than ever, I’m going to work honestly, I’m going to do what I really love doing, with passion. I’m going to have a great family life. I’m going to live life and do what I love doing. And that’s boxing. I can’t wait. I’m excited. I really am.”

De La Hoya is chairman of Golden Boy, one of the world’s top promotional companies. De La Hoya the fighter was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

 

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Golden Boy Promotions announces multi-year deal with ESPN

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 26, 2014 photo, boxer Oscar De La Hoya talks with reporters in Sacramento, Calif.

Oscar De La Hoya/Associated Press file photo

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced it has agreed to a multi-year deal with ESPN to televise cards on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. The first event of the series will take place March 23 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.

Eighteen cards will be televised during the first year of the deal in English and Spanish, with affiliates in Latin America, Canada, the Carribean, Austrailia and parts of Asia getting in on the fun.

Oscar De La Hoya, chairman of Golden Boy, is stoked about the accord.

“ESPN is a flagship network with a history of showcasing and bringing audiences into the world of boxing, making this deal a natural fit for Golden Boy Promotions,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “Having worked with ESPN in the past, we know first-hand that its multiple TV and digital platforms represent a must-watch for casual and die-hard sports fans.”

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David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens can’t wait to get at each other on March 11

Gennady Golovkin, left, hits David Lemieux in the eighth round of a world middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Golovkin won by a TKO in the eighth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

David Lemieux, right, absorbs serious punishment from Gennady Golovkin in their title-unification bout in October 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City/Associated Press photo by Rich Schultz

 

Apparently, there is no love lost between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. Now the hard-hitting middleweight contenders will be able to do something about that because they will tangle March 11 at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. (on HBO).

The bout was officially announced Monday. Lemieux can’t wait to get at Stevens.

“The time for talking is done,” said Lemieux, a former world champion who lost his belt to Gennady Golovkin via eighth-round TKO in a title-unification bout in October 2015. “And after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he’s going to do in the ring, I’m really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11.”

Stevens has had one shot at a world title, but he was stopped after eight rounds by Golovkin in November 2013. Stevens is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization, the same of which ranks Lemieux No. 4.

“The wait is finally over,” Stevens said. “No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11.”

The bout will be co-promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events. De La Hoya believes the dislike Lemieux and Stevens have for one another is very real.

“You often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience,” said De La Hoya, who promotes Lemieux. “These two guys aren’t faking it; they don’t like each other at all. Given the thunder each holds in both hands, and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout – a spectacular one at that.”

Lemieux, of Canada, is 36-3 with 32 knockouts. Stevens, of Brooklyn, is 29-5 with 21 knockouts.

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Golden Boy Promotions signs Marlen Esparza to promotional contract

Marlen Esparza/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Wednesday announced it has signed 2012 U.S. Olympian Marlen Esparza to a promotional contract.

Esparza, of Pasadena, Texas, won the bronze medal at flyweight in the 2012 London Games, but she lost in the 2016 Olympic Trials. She’s 27.

“I am excited to get back into the ring as soon as possible and start climbing the ladder toward winning a professional title,” Esparza said.

Esparza has an endorsement with CoverGirl and has also done Spanish-language commercials for the likes of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

“Before she ever steps foot into the ring as a professional, Marlen Esparza has already established herself as a rising star,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and chairman of Golden Boy. “At Golden Boy Promotions, we pride ourselves on developing fighters and transforming them into the best of the best. We look forward to doing the same with Marlen.”

Esparza was introduced by De La Hoya at Wednesday’s news conference at the Fabulous Forum for Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. They will tangle in the light heavyweight main event there Saturday (on HBO).

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Bernard Hopkins’ final fight will be against Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17 at Forum

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

Sergey Kovalev, left, lands a punch to the head of Bernard Hopkins during their fight in November 2014/Associated Press file photo

 

Living boxing legend Bernard Hopkins has been saying he wants to fight one more time, even though he’s 51. Hopkins will get his wish when he takes on Joe Smith Jr. in a light heavyweight bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO).

Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, confirmed late Monday morning that a verbal accord had been reached for the bout.

“We just got a deal done,” Gomez said.

Hopkins is a partner in Golden Boy, whose CEO and chairman is Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014, began his pro career at the Forum in 1992.

That irony is not lost on Gomez.

“It’s pretty cool that Oscar started his career at the Forum and now Bernard is going to retire at the Forum,” Gomez said.

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. He hasn’t fought since losing a wide decision to light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014. Smith, 27, is from Long Island, N.Y. He is 22-1 18 knockouts.

Hopkins-Smith would have taken place on the same card as the interim super featherweight title fight between Orlando Salido of Mexico and Takashi Miura of Japan. But Salido sustained a back injury this past week and pulled out Monday.

“Now we’re either going to replace Salido with a suitable replacement, or replace the entire fight,” Gomez said. “We don’t know yet.”

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Jorge Linares makes a happy man out of his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya

Anthony Crolla, left, and Jorge Linares pose after this past Friday’s weigh-in for their fight Saturday in England/Photo courtesy of Lawrence Lustig, Matchroom Boxing

 

Jorge Linares of Venezuela entered his fight this past Saturday against WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla having already held the WBC belt. But Linares was stripped of that title in February when he could not make a mandatory defense because of a fractured hand.

That said, Linares was eager to once again be a world champion. He did not disappoint himself as he took Crolla’s title via unanimous decision at Manchester Arena in Crolla’s native England.

Linares’ promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was stoked about what he saw from Linares and what he might see in the future from him.

“Jorge Linares has proven himself once again as a world champion fighter with incredible skill, strength and talent. This is a fighter that continues to fight the best and win against the best in the lightweight division,” De La Hoya said. “Linares gave us a highly entertaining and thrilling fight against Anthony Crolla today, and we can’t wait to see what more is to come from him following this tremendous … victory.”

Linares, 31, is now 41-3. Crolla, 29, is 31-5-3. He was trying to make his second successful title defense.

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Luis Del Valle expects to hand Diego De La Hoya his first loss on Saturday

Luis Del Valle/Photo courtesy of Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Luis Del Valle is a prize-fighter from Puerto Rico, so he knows all about the boxing rivalry his homeland has with Mexico. He is far from being a hater, though.

“I love the Mexican community – they are the most humble and welcoming people,” Del Valle said Tuesday. “I remember when I visited Mexico for the first time, and I felt at home. While the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matches are always heated, I have a deep respect for the Mexican public.”
Del Valle (22-2, 16 KOs) on Saturday will take on Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) of Mexico in a 10-round super bantamweight bout. They will tangle underneath the junior middleweight title fight between champion Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view). Del Valle is expecting to hand De La Hoya – cousin of Oscar De La Hoya – his first loss.
“”I am going to leave the ring with a victory under my belt on Sept. 17, without a doubt,” Del Valle said. “Not being the favorite doesn’t affect me at all. I have had many experiences in which things have not gone the way we anticipated. However, those setbacks have brought me to this stage I stand on now, and the opportunity to further my career. This is my destiny, and I’ll prove that this Saturday.”

 

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Bobby ‘Schoolboy’ Chacon was a heck of a fan favorite during his heyday

Bobby Chacon v Cornelius Boza-Edwards : News Photo

Bobby Chacon tangles with Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Chacon winning a unanimous decision in May 1983 in Las Vegas. It was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine/Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Ring Magazine

 

Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon played host to a reporter from this newspaper in the fall of 2000 at the Skid Row gym where he was teaching kids the art of the sweet science.
By then, Chacon already had been stricken with pugilistic dementia, the result of his many ring wars.

Chacon had lost his wife, Valerie, in 1982 to a self-inflicted gunshot wound brought on by her husband’s refusal to quit boxing.

Nine years later, Chacon’s son Bobby Jr. was the victim of gang violence when he was shot and killed at 17. That’s not to mention Chacon’s own issues with drugs and alcohol.

Yet, Chacon — “the pride of Pacoima” — never stopped smiling. His tough life aside, he would constantly show up at local boxing cards, cracking jokes that had so many laughing. Sadly, it all came to an end Wednesday when Chacon died at 64. Chacon suffered a bad fall in a dementia care facility in Hemet that led to his death, said Ricky Farris, president of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

“As sad of shape as he was in, he was the guy who was always laughing and happy,” said Don Chargin, who promoted many of Chacon’s fights. “He wasn’t one of those mean guys, where they get a little bit of that dementia, they get sullen and mean.”

Chacon boxed professionally from 1972-88, compiling a record of 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts while winning world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Chacon’s ninth-round stoppage of Danny “Little Red” Lopez in 1974 at the L.A. Sports Arena was just one of Chacon’s many epic victories. Chacon also took on Rafael “Bazooka” Limon four times, going 2-1 with a draw. In their fourth fight, Chacon won a 15-round unanimous decision in a super featherweight title fight in Sacramento in 1982. Chacon was decked twice, Limon once. That was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.

There were Chacon’s two fights with Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Chacon was stopped by Boza-Edwards in the 13th round in 1981 in a super featherweight title fight in Las Vegas. Chacon came back to win a 12-round unanimous decision over Boza-Edwards in 1983 in Las Vegas. It was another Chacon fight that Ring Magazine honored as Fight of the Year.
Abel Sanchez, trainer of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, grew up in West Covina. Like all area fans, he embraced Chacon during his heyday.

“I think he brought the kind of mentality that has been lost in recent times in our boxing business,” Sanchez said via telephone from London, where Golovkin will defend his title Saturday against Kell Brook. “I think now it’s more of a business, where as back then fighters were warriors; fighters fought like the old-timers did.

“Bobby’s fights with Boza-Edwards are something to learn from and study. He was one-of-a-kind for our Southern California fighters. He just personified the Mexican warrior that we, as fans, want to see in our fighters.”

Longtime promoter Bob Arum said it well in one short sentence.

“He was a tremendous fighter and a big attraction,” he said.

Chargin recalled that Chacon-Lopez sold out the L.A. Sports Arena in 1974. Four months later, Chacon won the featherweight title with a ninth-round TKO of Alfredo Marcano in September at the Olympic Auditorium, then knocked out Jesus Estrada in the second round in his first defense, also at the Olympic.

“That was another night the fire marshal made us quit selling tickets,” Chargin said.
Fellow Hall of Fame fighter-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya of East L.A., a big draw in his day, identified with Chacon. De La Hoya on Wednesday said, in part, “Hailing from Southern California, Bobby was someone I looked up to as a young fighter growing up in East Los Angeles. Bobby had the natural talent, good looks, personality and power to be a memorable fighter in the ring that attracted crowds.”

Chacon fought two days after his wife committed suicide in March 1982, stopping Salvador Ugalde in the third round in Sacramento.

“They were a cute little couple and she really wanted him to quit, and he didn’t,” Chargin said. “They had a terrible fight and he said, ‘I’m not quitting,’ and she committed suicide. Naturally, I called the fight off and started to come back to L.A., and I got a call from Bobby’s attorney and he said they were going to bring a lawsuit against me if I called off the fight.”

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Oscar De La Hoya’s comments about Canelo Alvarez a bit mystifying

Alvarez Khan Boxing

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Amir Khan face off during a news conference promoting their fight this past May in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo by John Locher

 

Oscar De La Hoya the promoter has a job to do – pump up the fighters in his stable the best he can. Still, some of his comments Monday regarding Canelo Alvarez were somewhat mystifying. Alvarez on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith of England for his junior middleweight title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) could have instead fought middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in a title-unification bout that would have definitely drawn enormous worldwide interest. Rather, Alvarez vacated his middleweight title. Then Alvarez and De La Hoya announced they won’t consider fighting Golovkin until September 2017 at the earliest.

An HBO-produced blog sent out Monday posed two questions to De La Hoya: What does Canelo have to do for the Mexican fans to embrace him as one of their best? How does
he become one of the best in the rich history of Mexican boxing? De La Hoya responded in what seem to be hyperbolic tones.

“Mexican fighters have long been known for their toughness, their ability to walk through fire, their willingness to take three punches to land a solid shot,” De La Hoya said. “That is Canelo Alvarez.

“There is no doubt that Canelo is today already the biggest boxing star in Mexico and the United States. He is in the process of crossing over as a worldwide superstar, but he will never forget where he came from and the rich boxing tradition of Mexico.”

De La Hoya didn’t stop there.

“Canelo is built from the mold of all-time Mexican greats like Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and Ruben Oliveras – strong fighters with knockout power that focus
on two things – being the best fighter in the world and putting on a show for the fans,” he said. “And that’s what Canelo will continue to do for the rest of his career.

“Incredibly, he has been embraced as Mexico’s biggest and best boxer for years, despite being only 26 years old, and that’s because the Mexican fans know a true
champion when they see one.”

Well, I just saw a message board that contained nearly 90 comments. The subject was, has a fighter from Mexico ever given up a world title to avoid fighting someone?

Frankly, I don’t know if that has happened before. But it was obvious from the amount of negative comments toward Alvarez, that he is not quite the darling of boxing fans worldwide De La Hoya suggets.

It’s difficult to overcome something that happens in the sequence this did. Alvarez after he knocked out Amir Khan in May declared himself ready and willing to fight Golovkin this fall at 160 pounds. To say he was adamant, would be putting it mildly.

Next thing we know, he’s giving up his belt and saying he won’t fight Golovkin for quite some time. I’m not sure if De La Hoya understands what that kind of flip-flop can do to a fighter’s reputation.

Alvarez is a good man. Clean-cut, the whole ball of wax. But until he fights Golovkin, he’s going to have this hanging over his head.

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Oscar De La Hoya says Canelo Alvarez and Texas fans have love for each other

Canelo Alvarez, left, poses with Amir Khan at a news conference promoting their May 7, 2016 fight won by Alvarez/Associated Press photo by John Locher 

 

Canelo Alvarez’s most recent fight was at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, when he knocked out Amir Khan in the sixth round on May 7 before 16,540. But Alvarez’s next bout will be back in Texas, where twice over the past three-plus years he has fought before huge crowds.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 13 KOs) on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of Great Britain for his junior middleweight belt at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez in May 2015 knocked out James Kirkland in the third round at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alvarez in April 2013 won a 12-round decision over Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It was therefore no surprise that this bout landed back in the Lone Star State.

“After Canelo knocked out James Kirkland in Houston last year, he was clear that he wanted to come to Texas at least once a year from then on out,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter. “Canelo drew more than 33,000 people (actually, 31,588) in Houston after drawing more than 45,000 (more like 40,000) in San Antonio for his fight with Austin Trout.

“It’s clear that Texans love Canelo, but working with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will take it to another level.”

AT&T Stadium was previously known as Cowboys Stadium and is home to the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jones.

 

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