Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya has received honors from Sports Illustrated as the 2014 “Promoter of the Year.”
In what many critics have viewed as a down year for boxing, De La Hoya was able to make strides in rebuilding his brand following the abrupt departure of long-time CEO Richard Schaefer. De La Hoya played a significant role in beginning Canelo Alvarez’s rise as an A-side pay-per-view attraction via wins over Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara.
“De La Hoya has re-established himself as a force on the promotional landscape, said Sports Illustrated. “He has repaired Golden Boy’s relationship with HBO, 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…his best days as a promoter lie ahead.”
Golden Boy was also at the helm of two significant matchups on both HBO and Showtime. Sergey Kovalev defeated Bernard Hopkins on HBO in October, and Amir Khan notched an important decision victory over Devon Alexander earlier this month.
Other accolades for De La Hoya include being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
“When I was inducted to the International 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,” De La Hoya explained. “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.
“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.”
At press time, Golden Boy is set to air a WBC heavyweight title match between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder on January 17. Negotiations are ongoing for a potential May 2 clash pitting Canelo Alvarez against Miguel Cotto.
Not a bad year for Oscar, especially when you consider he had to hit the ground running straight out of rehab. Out of everything, pushing Canelo was the biggest power move (ending the ‘Cold War’ with Top Rank is a close second). Getting him back on HBO offers bigger exposure and a higher selection of opponents. And if Oscar helps Canelo “steal” Cinco de Mayo away from Mayweather vs. TBA, then he might already be an early favorite for the 2015 Promoter of the Year.
Thoughts? If De La Hoya isn’t your pick, which promoter do you feel was overlooked in 2014?