Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is Oscar De La Hoya most overrated boxer in the professional boxing's history?

We all know professional boxing to be an individual sport. A sport where brawn wins over mind. However it is one the strategic professional sports I have seen, somewhere in line of motor racing or golf. Individual sports where whole game depends upon performance of one individual (whom we all see perform and cheer for) are more mind involving as against team sports. We do not see a team upfront here, but behind the scene its the team (of thinkers) that is responsible for success or failure of that one individual who is there to earn fortunes not only for himself but for the whole team backing him.

Professional boxing is a sport where success and fortune has not solely depended upon the talent of the fighter. There have been instances when some of the greatest champions of the world have struggled to make ends meet where as some of the lesser known boxers have basked under the glory, fame and fortune which at times many critics doubt that if they deserved it at all. So what makes or breaks a boxer. Its the team surrounding him, his trainer, manager and promoter. If you look at some of the successful boxers (financially too), they always had a great team around him. There have been also cases where unscrupulous managers and greedy promoters have destroyed the career of some great fighters and robbed them of their well deserved success and fortune.

There are many many examples from history to verify this but lets focus on boxer under question.

Oscar De La Hoya
is perhaps one of the most financially successful boxer in the history of this sport. He has earned around $700 million from this sport. However what about his talent as a fighter. Its far pathetic then many many lesser known boxers. In his last 14 bouts in past 9 years he has lost six of them. He has lost to all the strong contenders of his era like Trinidad, Mosley, Hopkins, Mayweather, Pacquio. Even some of his later victories where quite controversial like with Felix Strum. In his earlier career he had some success fighting lesser known boxers, or older boxers like Chavez who were way past their prime and also mostly near his home town ie states of California and Nevada. In fact he has never fought outside US, and fought way less (14 times in past 9 years) which shows how selective or narrow was his fight pickup criteria. All great boxers right from Jack Johnson to Ali to Tyson have had bouts around the globe with diverse fighters. They fought just way to much so as to be beaten at near end of their careers.

So what made him so successful. It was his team, which negotiated right contracts with fellow fighters, TV channels, picked up right and safe fights and above all created a media hype around him right from his pre olympic or amateur days.

So its lot more than raw talent to be successful in this sport or for mater of fact in any professional sport, and Oscar sure has shown us the way.

Keep on rocking in the free world!


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