EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In what is still considered one of the most iconic sports scenes in El Paso’s storied history, Oscar De La Hoya made his way to the ring in full charro attire — sombrero included — in front of 45,000 screaming fans at Sun Bowl Stadium. The date was June 13, 1998 — 23 years ago this past Sunday.
After knocking out Patrick Charpentier in the third round on that summer night, De La Hoya thanked the city of El Paso and said, “I will be back.” The former world champion and Olympic gold medalist has made good on that promise and will once again return to El Paso this week to promote the Jaime Munguia vs. Kamil Szeremeta fight scheduled for Saturday at the Don Haskins Center.
“El Paso loves boxing and it’s my 23rd anniversary from when I fought Patrick Charpentier at the Sun Bowl — it brings back a lot of memories — and I have my fondest memories of El Paso,” said De La Hoya. “I’ll never forget El Paso and as long as I can promote, we’ll continue to take big time boxing back to El Paso every time.”
De La Hoya retired from boxing in 2009 after 16 years in the ring and a record of 39-6, 30 of those wins coming by way of knockout. He is ranked the 12th best boxer of all-time, pound-for-pound, by BoxRec.
De La Hoya, nicknamed ‘Golden Boy,’ founded Golden Boy Promotions in 2002 and has been promoting the sport ever since. With up-and-coming stars like Munguia on this rise, he believes boxing’s future is bright.
“I strongly believe the future of boxing is brighter than ever,” said De La Hoya. “We are introducing the sport to a whole new generation, which is growing by the masses. So, I strongly believe that boxing is more than alive and well and we have some great platforms that are promoting the sport.”
Saturday’s main card from the Don Haskins Center will air exclusively on DAZN at 1:30 p.m. MT. The Munguia-Szeremeta fight is expected to begin at 4 p.m.