Oscar De La Hoya reportedly in rehabilitation facility
Oscar De La Hoya, who moved from Olympic boxing gold medalist and world champion to become the face of his own promotional company in the sport, has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility, TMZ reports.
De La Hoya, 38, was in an undisclosed substance abuse facility in California, according to the website. Several of his associates at Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions either declined to comment or did not return messages seeking more information about De La Hoya’s treatment.
Golden Boy on Saturday staged a world title fight in Montreal between veteran Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal.
“He’s real good; he’s going to be fine,” said one person close to De La Hoya who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
News about De La Hoya’s situation broke Saturday afternoon, and a statement by the 1992 U.S. gold medalist and world-champion fighter from East Los Angeles was delivered to TMZ hours later:
“After doing an honest evaluation of myself, I recognize that there are certain issues that I need to work on. Like everyone, I have my flaws, and I do not want to be one of those people that is afraid to admit and address those flaws. Throughout my career and my life, I have always met all challenges head-on, and this is no different. I am confident that with the support of my family and friends, I will become a stronger, healthier person. I ask for respect and privacy as my family and I go through this process.”
Another De La Hoya associate said the statement was indeed from De La Hoya and “speaks for itself.”
De La Hoya, who last fought in December 2008 — surrendering in his corner before the ninth round in a loss to Manny Pacquiao — was most recently seen in public May 6, when he attended the Boxing Writers Assn. of America dinner at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
He was in good spirits at the dinner and delivered a speech about his longtime publicist Bill Caplan, who was honored that night with the BWAA’s “Good Guy” award.
TMZ reported that De La Hoya has been in treatment in recent weeks.
De La Hoya’s former promoter Bob Arum said he “wishes Oscar the best, and hopes the rehabilitation succeeds.”
De La Hoya was communicating with fans on Twitter on Saturday, discussing the Hopkins-Pascal fight. On Friday, he wrote: “Stop finding excuses not to live. Life is controlled by what you make of it and not what it makes of you.”
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