In a rather ho-hum year of boxing, one in which there were a few big shakeups in the boxing landscape and even more uncertainty to follow, Oscar De La Hoya was named Sports Illustrated's 'Promoter of the Year." Oscar was also just named 'Boxing 's Man of the Year' by Yahoo Sports today. Here is an excerpt from the Sports Illustrated announcement:
"De La Hoya has re-established himself as a force on the promotional landscape. He has repaired Golden Boy's relationship with HBO," read the article in Sports Illustrated, in part, and "restored a working relationship with rival Top Rank and continued to build junior middleweight Saul ‘Canelo' Alvarez into one of the biggest stars in boxing. At 41, De La Hoya's fighting days are long behind him but his best days as a promoter lie ahead."
Oscar accepted the recognition with both humility and increased ambition for 2015.
"When I was inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame in June, I made a promise that Golden Boy Promotions would focus all of its energies on a simple premise - bringing the best fights to the fans of our sport. In 2014, we started to deliver on that promise."
"But we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Working with our outstanding stable of fighters, our fellow promoters and everyone else in our sport who shares our goals, 2015 is primed to be a huge year for boxing," said De La Hoya. "I'll never forget that boxing is for the fans. I do this for the fans. I want them to get the fights they want to see and I won't rest until that happens."
As most of you would guess, a lot of this recognition derives from Oscar's concerted effort to end the cold war between the top two promotional companies in the business, Top Rank and Oscar's Golden Boy promotions. The longstanding feud has been a recurring obstacle in preventing some of the best match-ups in the sport from happening. There's still some ways to go but during this season of renewed hopes and aspirations, one can only hope to see a more fruitful 2015. I might have given the nod to Al Haymon, strictly based on the ironclad choke hold he's managed to put the sport in, but seeing that many expected Golden Boy to cave after the departure of Richard Schaefer, I have to say Oscar isn't a bad choice at all.