In an interview with Spanish-language network Univision, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya revealed that he’s battled alcoholism for 30 years—since he was 8-years old.
“It’s the biggest fight of my life,” De La Hoya, speaking of his addiction, told Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora’s” Teresa Rodriguez. “I can put Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Vargas-I can put all of my opponents in one ring and battle all of them but this monster is going to be toughest fight of my life.”
The Mexican-American boxing champion burst in to the scene after winning a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He went on to win ten world titles in six weight divisions, through a 39-6 pro record all while battling alcoholism.
“I haven’t been truly sober since I was 8,” De La Hoya says, recalling that when he was a waiter at family functions, he brought beer to the men and was encouraged to take a sip.
“A sip sounds harmless,” he says. “But after about 20, you are drunk.
“I remember the first time, when I passed out. My mother whacked me pretty good, but the men seemed fine with it.”
He went on to talk about transitioning to harder drugs.
“There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol. Cocaine was recent. The last 2 years, last 2½ years and I depended more on 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 also confirmed allegations he had previously denied. He confessed to cheating on his wife “more than once” and confirmed he was the subject in a 2004 photo scandal that featured him wearing women’s lingerie.
De La Hoya said he’s completed a 3-month stint in rehab and is currently drug and alcohol free.