Retired boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya has checked himself into a rehab facility.
The 40-year-old announced that he would not be attending Saturday night’s match between his protege, Canelo Alvarez, and Floyd Mayweather because he would be fighting his own battle.
“Canelo Alvarez and I have big fights coming up this weekend. His is the ring and mine in treatment. I will not be at the fight to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself into a treatment facility,” he said in a statement. “I explained this to Canelo and he understood that my health and longterm recovery from my disease must come first.”
De La Hoya did not specify what he is receiving treatment for, but he previously underwent treatment at the Betty Ford Center for alcoholism in May 2011. In August 2011, the “Golden Boy” admitted that he had been drinking heavily and doing drugs and that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Millie Corretjer. He also said that he considered committing suicide.
“Rock bottom was recently. Within couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it,” he said. “I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the courage to take my own life, but I was thinking about it.”
De La Hoya added, “There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol. Cocaine was recent. The last two years I depended more on the alcohol than the cocaine. 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.”
Oscar De La Hoya retired from boxing in 2009 after a 16-year career.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s over,” De La Hoya said. “This is the love of my life, boxing is my passion, boxing is what I was born to do…When I can’t do it anymore, when I can’t compete at the highest level, it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to the fans, it’s not fair to nobody.”
[Photo credit: Eric Richardson / Flickr]