Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya told Spanish-language network Univision on Tuesday that he considered suicide while battling his drug and alcohol dependence in rehab.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs), who defeated 17 world champions and captured 10 crowns in six different weight classes, entered a California rehabilitation center for “substance abuse issues” and began treatment sometime in early-May.
“Rock bottom was recently,” said De La Hoya, 38, one of the great pound-for-pound prizefighters from 1994 to 2002. “Within couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the courage to take my own life but I was thinking about it.”
“The Golden Boy,” who claims he has remained sober since the spring, also admitted to committing adultery on his wife, Puerto Rican singer and actress Millie Corretjer.
“We are obviously not talking a Tiger Woods here, but I was unfaithful,” De La Hoya said.
De La Hoya, named The Ring magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” in 1995, was the only U.S. boxer to win a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
The native of East Los Angeles dedicated his triumph at the games to his beloved mother, Cecilia, who had succumbed to breast cancer two years prior to the fabled international event.
“There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol, hmm. Cocaine was recent. The last 2 years, last 2 1/2 years and I depended more in the alcohol than the cocaine,” De La Hoya said. “It took me to a place where I felt safe, it took me to a place where I felt as if nobody can say anything to me, it took me to a place where I just can reach out and grab my mom.”
De La Hoya retired from competing in the squared circle after he was battered by Manny Pacquiao in an eight round TKO loss in December 2008.
De La Hoya’s immense fame and popularity notwithstanding, he is essentially a normal individual battling personal demons.
“It has to be tough to have all your problems play out in front of the world,” said Mike McCarthy, 28, a native of Quincy (Mass.) who currently resides in Beacon Hill. “I guess it goes along with the territory.”
“The Golden Boy” fearlessly took on all challengers during his 17-year career as a professional prizefighter.
Oscar De La Hoya absolutely possesses “courage” and “strength” and he will manage to ferociously battle his problems in a manner similar to the way he fought his 45 opponents in the ring.
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