Oscar De La Hoya
A Little Bit Of Tarnish On The Gold
Oscar De La Hoya's looks, charm, and "good guy" reputation have garnered him lucrative endorsement contracts and favorable press attention. But in the area of personnel, this has been tempered with harsh criticism of his ruthlessness. De La Hoya has gone through a string of managers and trainers, starting with the well-respected Shelly Finkel, who had also managed Evander Holyfield. Brought in to help usher De La Hoya into pro boxing, Finkel had invested a great deal of money into the youth, even paying for his mother's chemotherapy and later her funeral. "But after Oscar kept the promise he'd made to his mother and won the 1992 gold medal, becoming the most marketable face boxing had seen in more than a decade, he signed with little-known managers Robert Mittelman and Steve Nelson. Finkel still hasn't gotten over it," wrote Sports Illustrated reporter S.L. Price.
Mittelman and Nelson didn't fare much better. In December of 1993, he broke with them "in an abrupt and muddled bid to seize 'full control' of his career," wrote another Sports Illustrated reporter. That same year, De La Hoya brought on Mike Hernandez as his business manager. In 1999, De La Hoya fired him, and accused him of skimming. Hernandez in turn has sued Oscar for breach of contract and defamation.
In 2001, De La Hoya himself turned to the courts to end his longtime association with promoter Bob Arum, claiming that he had been badly promoted. He also began telling reporters that he had been badly trained by such well-respected names as Gil Clancy and Emanuel Steward. Few would dispute De La Hoya's natural talent, but there are some who wish he would remember the help he has received along the way.
- Oscar De La Hoya - Further Information
- Oscar De La Hoya - Still The Champion
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