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De La Hoya bares threats from Mexican cartel ahead of 1996 Chavez bout

/ 08:25 PM May 20, 2020
chavez de la hoya

WBC Super Lightweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez (L), from Mexico, reels from a left by challenger Oscar de la Hoya from the U.S. in the 4th round at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. De la Hoya defeated Chavez to claim the title with a fourth round TKO. AFP PHOTO John GURZINSKI/mn (Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Oscar De La Hoya had beaten fellow boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez twice—the first in 1996 then the rematch two years later.

Both of their bouts were for the WBC and lineal titles, but De La Hoya revealed his first encounter with Chavez had a lot more on the line for him.

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In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, De La Hoya bared he was threatened by the Mexican cartel ahead of his 1996 fight with Chavez.

“The cartels went to my camp, for Julio César Chávez, due to his importance.. they went to Big Bear (California) and threatened me, that if I won, who knows what would have happened.. imagine the pressure, it was just crazy,” said De La Hoya as posted on boxingscene.com.

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And it wasn’t just the cartel that De La Hoya had to deal with during that time.

“The government of Mexico threatened me that if I wore a patch with the Mexican flag on my trunks, which I was used to wearing… the flag of Mexico and the United States, they would never let me in [the country] again. I even have the letter, signed by President (Ernesto) Zedillo,” said the Mexican-American De La Hoya, who won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the US national team in 1992.

But not even that could stop De La Hoya from stopping Chavez, widely regarded as the greatest Mexican fighter ever, in just four rounds.

De La Hoya then, handled Chavez again in eight rounds in 1998.

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TAGS: Boxing, Julio Cesar Chavez, Mexican cartel, Oscar De La Hoya, Sports
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