February 13, 2004

Golden Boy: The Fame, Money and Mystery of Oscar De La Hoya
Tim Kawakami

A David -- I'd like to say that Oscar De La Hoya, Patrick Rafter and Jason Sehorn are my favorite athletes because of their unparalleled prowess in boxing, tennis and football. But the real reason is this: they're beautiful men. I have an ever-dwindling interest in professional sports, mostly because we now live in an age in which arenas have become our new carnival sideshows, featuring genetic freaks and chemically altered monsters who we treat like Gods and shower with sacrificial treasures. It's digusting, dehumanizing and unjust. Of course, beauty is also mostly a consequence of genetics and, increasingly, chemical and even surgical alterations. In many ways, beauty is unjust, as well. But true beauty is true beauty, after all, and in an unfair world at least the Beautiful Ones are easy on the eyes ... as long as they refrain from opening their mouths too often. Unfortunately, this kiss-and-tell, punch-and-yell biography of De La Hoya's career from boyhood boxer to champion defender in September 1998 is filled with 12 rounds of family bickering and the petty jealousies of greedy, stupid business partners. Sports fans will enjoy the blow-by-blow accounts and backroom deal-making. Those of us more interested in beauty would've preferred many more photographs and far fewer words.


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