Thanksgiving Weekend for Oscar De La Hoya
By David A. Avila
Oscar De La Hoya arrived inside the tiny boxing gym filled with beaming kids of all ages and coaches, parents and other interested people waiting to see the former boxing great and current president of Golden Boy Promotions.
The former six-division world champion walked into the gym located in Santa Ana on Friday afternoon armed with boxes filled with brand new boxing equipment like a modern day Santa Claus. Though many of the kids probably weren’t even born when De La Hoya last stepped in the boxing ring in 2008, their excitement in seeing the boxing legend walk into their gym was clearly visible.
“I came from a gym just like this,” said De La Hoya to boy sitting in front of dozens of tiny boxers. “I was five years old; a little younger than you.”
The gym and After-School program located on 4th Street in Santa Ana, had been chosen by the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation and California Municipal Finance Authority to receive boxing equipment. It was the third gym to receive donations this year. Others were in La Puente and Carson.
De La Hoya spoke briefly to the children about what boxing gave to him as a youth and how he used that to fuel a career in boxing. He cited the benefits and especially “discipline in training” to bringing success in all things in life.
Approximately 300 people huddled inside the tiny gym and camera phones were held by nearly everyone interested in capturing the moment.
It was Thanksgiving weekend for De La Hoya who gave away turkeys in front of his old gym that is now the home to Oscar De La Hoya Animo High School in East L.A.
Among those handing out turkeys were De La Hoya, new IBF bantamweight world champion Randy Caballero, and boxers Gabe Rosado, Hugo Centeno, Jojo Diaz, Julian Ramirez and Diego De La Hoya.