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Oscar De La Hoya is a retired American boxer who is best known for his winning bouts in six different weight classes, and for his popular televised fights.
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De La Hoya had sparred with Chavez as an amateur and been knocked down, but this time the results were different'De La Hoya pummeled crowd favorite Chavez with blows, opening a cut above the champion's eye before officials stopped the bout in the fourth round and declared victory for De La Hoya.
In January 1997, De La Hoya successfully defended his junior welterweight title. Moving up to the 147-pound weight class, he won the WBC welterweight title in Las Vegas in April of that year, beating the reigning champion and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whittaker, a pro champion in four different weight classes. With that victory, De La Hoya confirmed his reputation as the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world.
De La Hoya's reign as welterweight champion would continue until September 18, 1999, when he faced the hard-hitting Felix Trinidad in one of the most anticipated fights of the decade. As a record-breaking number of fans watched the fight broadcast on pay-per-view television, Trinidad handed De La Hoya his fist loss ever in a 12-round unanimous decision for the WBC welterweight title. A second loss in 2000 to Sugar Shane Mosely prompted De La Hoya to take some time off from boxing.
His good looks and undeniable talent made De La Hoya a hit with fans and the media from the beginning of his career. Outside the ring, he became the best-known boxer in America, earning respect from many for his charity and community service efforts including a nonprofit foundation and a youth boxing center in his old East Los Angeles neighborhood. In 2000, De La Hoya released his first album, in both English and Spanish, on the EMI/Latin label. Entitled Oscar, the album topped Latin dance charts and a single 'Ven a Mi,' was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Problems in De La Hoya's personal life surfaced in December 2000, when the actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler filed a $62.5 million palimony suit against the former champion to support the couple's daughter, Atiana Cecelia.
De La Hoya returned to the ring in March 2001, beating Arturo Gatti in the fifth round of his first fight after his return. On June 23 of that year, De La Hoya defeated Javier Castillejo of Spain, the reigning WBC super welterweight (154 pounds) champion, in 12 rounds to win his fifth title in as many weight classes, matching the achievement of his idol, Sugar Ray Leonard. At the age of 28, he was the youngest boxer ever to have won five world titles.
Everything has not been golden for this boxing phenomenon, though. He lost a middleweight title fight to Bernard Hopkins in 2004. De La Hoya took time away from the ring and focused on other aspects of his life. Married to singer Millie Corretjer in 2001, De La Hoya and his wife welcomed their first child in December 2005. De La Hoya made a triumphant return in 2006 with a technical knockout of his opponent Richardo Mayorga.
De La Hoya has been preparing himself for a life after boxing.
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