Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya is fighting substance abuse problems again and has voluntarily entered an undisclosed treatment facility, he announced Tuesday.
De La Hoya, who has battled alcohol and drug addiction, is the founder of Golden Boy Promotions, which is a co-promoter of this weekend’s fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“The fight life, that was easy,” he told the Los Angeles Times last month, adding that he occasionally six Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week. “This is a battle I have every day.”
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, was surprised by De La Hoya’s announcement.
“He really sounded very bad,” Schaefer told SI.com. “It wasn’t one of the things when you can wait until next week. I was surprised. But at the same time I was very supportive. I didn’t try to convince him that he had to be here. It wouldn’t have been the advice of a friend. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen but it did happen. I’m very proud of him. It’s not perfect timing, but what is? They say the show must go on. Oscar has a fight where he is and we have a big fight here.”
In a statement released by Golden Boy, De La Hoya said: “Canelo Alvarez and I have big fights coming up this weekend. His is in the ring and mine in treatment. I will not be at the fight to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself to a treatment facility. I explained this to Canelo, and he understood that my health and long-term recovery from my disease must come first. Thank you for your understanding. I ask for your support during this difficult time and for me and my family.”