The Golden Boy Becomes a Hall of Famer

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Saturday, June 14, 2014


THE other week, Oscar Dela Hoya was enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s a fitting, albeit expected accolade for the Golden Boy who after all, remains to be one of the finest fighters in this generation.

LOOKING BACK. Dela Hoya amassed an amateur record of 234 wins, 6 losses, 163 by knockout. He culminated that with a gold medal victory in the 1992 summer Olympics.

He turned pro at the age of 19 and in his 12th pro fight, won his first world title, stopping Jimmy Bredahl in 10 rounds to become the WBO super feather weight champion. He would go on to win 10 world titles in six different weight classes.

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He has defeated top-tier fighters like Rafael Ruelas, Jesse James Leija, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Ike Quartey, Arturo Gatti and Fernando Vargas.

His most memorable battles came against Shane Mosley, and Felix Trinidad. He retired from boxing after losing to our very own Manny Pacquiao in 2008, in eight rounds.

He then went on to become a boxing promoter and founded Golden Boy Promotions, which today is one of the most powerful boxing organizations in the whole world.

Though Golden Boy Promotions is currently in turmoil by virtue of the resignation of its CEO, Richard Schaeffer, this will only be a bump on the road for a fighter of Dela Hoya’s caliber.

He remains to be a revered figure in the boxing world and were he to walk into any boxing gym today, he could still command the attention and adulation of fighters who look up to him as an inspiration for what he has achieved, as a fighter and a promoter.

GOODBYE, BASELINE PRT GYM. I’ve never been a gym rat- but for the past three weeks I’ve done my best to haul my laggardly butt to Baseline gym.
?It’s a far cry from the ultra modern gyms that have sprung up around the city. There’s no air-conditioning, no treadmill, the equipment is old and needs paint and sometimes the gym patrons have to provide the music while we pump the iron.

But I have come to call it home.

PROGRESS. After 40 years, this gym which was a pioneer among PRT gyms, (yes we called it PRT back then) is closing down to give way to progress.
Ask around, and you will find someone who knows someone who at one time or another has tried lifting those weights at Baseline gym.

Fitness crazes and health fads have come and gone, but the gym remained undeterred--it still relied on its equipment consisting of free weights, plates, and cable-based machines.

But I loved the its old school feel , plus the people there felt real- most of them from a different demographic you would find in younger gyms where you will find guys clad in the latest fashion gear, strutting around narcissistically, and then proceeding to check out their forms in the mirror after every set.

But, yes, all good things must come to an end, and yesterday was Baseline Gym’s last day of operations.

It’s been a hell of a ride and we had a good run, but I just had to say goodbye.

Check out my Twitter account @thelastround and you’ll see my posterity pic.

And so the search begins for a new gym.

VERBATIM. “We, the promoters, must stop carrying petty grudges that serve no purpose but to divide our sport. And most important, we must give the fans the fights that they want.” ~ Oscar Dela Hoya on Espn.go.com

LAST ROUNDS. Are on Jeray and Carmay Villahermosa who recently exchanged I do’s, and on Rodrigo Abellana who celebrates his birthday this week.

***

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 15, 2014.

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