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De La Hoya Goes Old School for Card

Times Staff Writer

Garfield High does not typically play host to news conferences promoting professional boxing events.

But Oscar De La Hoya, Garfield class of 1991 and a former champion in five weight classes, is used to putting on a show where he wants, in or out of the ring.

De La Hoya was on the lawn outside the school’s administration building Wednesday, wearing a Garfield letterman’s jacket over a yellow shirt and blue jeans, describing the three world championship fights that his company, Golden Boy Promotions, is bringing to Olympic Auditorium on Saturday.

The card, which has Napapol Kiattisakchocchoi and Oscar Larios fighting for the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title, Levander Johnson meeting Javier Jauregui for the International Boxing Federation lightweight title, and Reynaldo Hurtado facing Jose Navarro for the International Boxing Assn. super-flyweight title, will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.

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“We had to go through a lot of obstacles to make [the event] happen,” De La Hoya said.

He didn’t elaborate on what the obstacles were, but he made it clear that promoting was something more than a hobby to occupy some of the time between his own bouts.

"[Promoting] is win-win for everyone,” De La Hoya said. “I’m a straight shooter, and I never cheat the fighter. The business of it is straightforward. The fighter makes money, the promoter makes money -- it’s working both ways.”

De La Hoya said he would like to expand his stable of 15 boxers beyond the lower weight classes. But he’s not going to sign fighters just for the sake of having a boxer at every level.

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“We want to make sure we get quality, not quantity,” De La Hoya said. “It’s one reason I agreed to be a commentator and analyst at the [2004] Olympics in Athens, to look for fighters who have something special about them.

“We’re not just getting Hispanic fighters. Wherever he’s from, be it America or Asia, the doors are wide open.”


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