De La Hoya Battles Cocaine

By Walter Armstrong 05/23/11

The legendary fighter recently checked into rehab to battle a long-time cocaine problem. But boxing insiders are whispering that other troubles may be on the horizon.



The Golden Boy tweets: "I will knock out this disease that I have.".
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Oscar De La Hoya, boxing’s squeaky-clean “Golden Boy” has checked into an undisclosed L.A. rehab to combat a long-time cocaine addiction. Responding to a report punblished by gossip site TMZ, a De La Hoya rep offered only the vaguest of confirmations in a statement from the boxer that read: “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.”

Meanwhile,  quoting an anonymous source close to De La Hoya, the insider boxing website FightHype  said, “[He has] a serious problem. He ain’t hitting golf balls; he’s hitting eight balls.”

De La Hoya’s 15-year boxing career is the stuff of legend. Soon after he graduated from highschool, the handsome fighter won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics—the only American to do so—and never looked back. He notched victories over 17 world champions and 10 world titles in six different weight classes before hanging up his gloves in 2009. His prideful Mexican-American’s heritage, coupled with his amazing hands, made him wildly popular in Latin America. Over his career, he's minted more than $700 million, more than any other boxer in history. De La Hoya also had the Midas Touch when it came to cashing in on his righteous rep, launching a company called Golden Boy Promotions while he was still in the ring, billing it the promotional firm that fellow boxers could trust. Golden Boy has since become a billion-dollar empire, including a franchise of boxing media outlets including Ring Magazine, which was mum today on its man’s current status.

But with rumors flying like punches, FightHype found an anonymous source who offered an ominous prediction: “There’s a bigger issue coming to the table and it will probably involve women. Usually when drugs are involved, sex is involved.”

This certainly isn’t the only scandal the boxer has endured. A decade ago, Oscar’s ex-girlfriend, former Miss USA, Playmate, and professional celebrity bed-hopper Shanna Moakler (Blink 182’s Travis Barker, Billy Idol, Dennis Quaid, et. al.) slapped him with a law suit that claimed there was a “vast disparity between Oscar’s… image and his true nature.” Her suit alleged that he later pursued “a campaign of intimidation, harassment and obstruction” in order to get Moakler to go away. And in 2007, a photo spread of the hunky bruiser posing prettily in fishnet stocking and high heels was posted on Deadspin and immediately went viral. Also featured in the shoot were cocktails and a woman who was not his wife, though the only powder visible appeared to be on the champ’s face. The pics were said to be phonies that were digitally doctored. Then all was quiet on the De La Hoya Front until now.

 "I'm sincerely humbled by the support I've been receiving and promise you that I will knock out this disease I have," said a recent tweet from the boxer. "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." To keep an eye on Oscar's latest battle, keep an eye on the fighter's tweets. Note that he also made time for a tweet about tequila.

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Walter Armstrong is the Medical Editor at  Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and the former deputy editor of The Fix. You can find him on Linkedin.