He was, much like Ernie Gonzalez also, the United States top Olympic boxing hope when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. On her death bed she made him promise he'd win the gold, and he did. Sadly, she passed away at 35.
De La Hoya signed for 1 million dollars with promoter Bob Arum and went on to win 5 world titles and beat former and current world champions like Troy Dorsey[?] (KO 1), Jimmy Bredahl[?], (KO 10), Jorge Paez, (KO 2), Genaro Hernandez[?] (KO 6), John John Molina (Split Decision win 12), Rafael Ruelas[?] (KO 2), Julio Cesar Chavez (KO 4, KO 8), Miguel Angel Gonzalez[?] (Unanimous Decision win 12), Jesse James Leija[?] (KO 2), Pernell Whitaker[?] (SD win 12), Hector 'Macho' Camacho (UD win 12), Ike Quartey[?] (SD win 12), Arturo Gatti (KO 5), Francisco Javier Castillejos[?] (UD win 12) and Fernando Vargas (KO 11).
De La Hoya's interests outside the ring include architecture, acting, fashion designing, and singing. He designed and built his own house in Big Bear[?], California, has a clothing line (BUM, or Boxing UniforMs) and released a Grammy nominated cd.
On May 3, 2003, as part of the Cinco de Mayo festivities, he retained his WBC and WBA world Jr Middleweight championships, when the corner of his rival, former world champion Yori Boy Campas[?] understood that Campas had taken too much punishment in round seven and threw in the towel, indicating that they were giving up, and officially giving De La Hoya a seventh round knockout win. De La Hoya hurt his left hand in the process of defeating Campas.
His record stands at 36 wins and 2 defeats, with 31 wins by knockout.