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In the gang-ridden streets of East Los Angeles, a bustling city with no mayor and no city hall, speaking the name Oscar De La Hoya brings instant reaction.
It's a crime-ridden world where De La Hoya learned to survive and it's given him more experience than any amount of boxing rounds could bestow upon him and has probably helped in his winning six world titles in six weight classes.
"That's where I'm from. I love East L.A.," says De La Hoya.
When De La Hoya steps in the ring against Bernard Hopkins (44-2-1, 31 KOs) for the undisputed middleweight championship at the MGM Grand on Saturday, the East L.A. baby face has the gall to challenge the tough-looking Philadelphia fighter recognized as boxing's best fighter.
It's all about face.