Right away, most people including De La Hoya himself, dismissed them as fakes,
"No way, not the Golden Boy." a boxing fan told me, and I agreed with him.
Four years later, in an interview with Univision, De La Hoya admitted to the legitimacy of the pictures. By now most had forgotten the pictures and his confession didn’t really make headlines or caused commotion.
What that interview did do, at least for me, was make me question every single thing De La Hoya has denied ever since, and if you know anything about the business of boxing, you know there is a lot of things promoters like De La Hoya, fighters, and managers have to deny on a daily basis.
By 2011 his boxing promotional company Golden Boy Promotions was the biggest in the world, putting on events up to several times a month at which Oscar could always be seen enjoying himself, smiling and looking healthy.
“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. ”
He also added.
"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."
Since then, Oscar had seemed to keep his promise. At least when out in public, he seemed to be in good spirits and it looked as if for sure he’s drug problems were history.
At most events now days he looks happy, acts professional, and if you were to see him and not known anything about his history, the last thing you would assume is that you are looking at a former drug addict, even less an active one.
But in life there's what we hope for, and then there is reality. The reality that for the last few years Oscar has remained in a though battle with addiction, a battle that on September 10th he officially admitted loosing.
In a press release from Golden Boy Promotions, just five days before what is probably the biggest event his company has ever promoted, De La Hoya once again shocked the boxing world and released the following statement.
“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 this Saturday to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself into a treatment facility.
I explained this to Canelo and he understood that my health and longterm recovery from my disease must come first.
Thank you for your understanding. I ask for your support and privacy during this difficult time for me and my family.”
One would hope that De La Hoya could come out of rehab a new man, a new man with an old addiction well behind him.
Anyone who has followed his boxing career knows that De La Hoya in times of hardship, has shown heart and never gave up in the ring. Its very doubtful he will do so outside of it.
While in the past he did everything in his power to not disappoint his fans, De La Hoya now has to find that same motivation for his family and fight through this battle, just like he did in the ring for many years.
On September 14th when Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez step into the ring, the world will not be thinking about Oscar De La Hoya, but as one of the key people responsible for this event taking places in the first place, we should all pray that he is able to come out this stronger than he went it, not only for the sake of his family and himself, but yes, also for the sake of boxing.
Unlike his cross-dressing scandal in 2007, De La Hoya is not trying to hide anything here. He is out in the open, exposed for the world to see his troubles and hoping that we show compassion towards him. So weather you love him or hate him, weather you care about his addiction problems or not, you should, because Oscar De La Hoya is more important to boxing that most of us can imagine.