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California lawmakers honor boxer Oscar De La Hoya

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California lawmakers on Thursday honored Oscar De La Hoya, nicknamed the Golden Boy of boxing, for his leadership and contributions to the state.

De La Hoya, the son of Mexican immigrants, received proclamations from Sen. Kevin de Leon and former Assembly Speaker John Perez, both Democrats from Los Angeles. They said De La Hoya has helped California's economy by creating Golden Boy Promotions, the nation's first boxing promotional company owned by a Hispanic-American.

He also has invested in his community of East Los Angeles by establishing a foundation to support a charter school, a medical center and after-school programs to lead youth away from gangs and drugs.

De La Hoya, an Olympic gold medalist and winner of 10 world titles, thanked lawmakers for the recognition. Earlier this month, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

''It is possible to fulfill your goals and your dreams and take them further beyond boxing,'' De La Hoya told senators Thursday. ''And that's really something that I strive for, is to be an example of victory not only inside the ring but outside the ring.''

While there are many minority boxers, de Leon said it's rare to see a promoter of color.

''He has changed the economic paradigm and has moved forward to be an actual promoter where he has an amazing stable of fighters of world-championship caliber,'' said the senator.

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