Oscar De La Hoya enters rehab, promises swift comeback
"After doing an honest evaluation of myself, I recognize that there are certain issues that I need to work on," he said in a statement Saturday. "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."
De La Hoya, 38, entered the facility a few weeks ago for treatment. The former champion boxer last fought in 2008 and had been fronting his boxing company Golden Boy Promotions since 2005.
"Throughout my career and my life, I have always met all challenges head-on, and this is no different," the statement said. "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."
De La Hoya was last seen publicly May 6 at the Boxing Writers Assn. of America event in Las Vegas. Though the statement did not specify what he was being treated for, TMZ indicated that the Golden Boy had been drinking and using cocaine before entering treatment. Its source said that De La Hoya did not believe he had hit rock bottom but went to rehab before things got out of control.
Over the weekend, he tweeted about the rapture, his wife, Millie Corretjer, and viewing the Shane Mosely-Manny Pacquiao matchup. But once the story broke, fans began pouring in the love, prompting him to address their concerns through tweets.
"I'm sincerely humbled by the support I've been receiving and promise you that I will knock out this disease I have. There is no doubt [in] My mind that I will become stronger and more humble with this experience," he wrote.
The former Olympic gold medalist said that in recent weeks he had "grown as a person" and had found a "higher power" who gives him strength to live life in "a humiliating way," adding that he was learning to love himself first "so I can love those around me."
He also said he planned to come back soon, stronger than ever.
— Nardine Saad
twitter.com / NardineSaad
Photo: Oscar De La Hoya reacts after announcing his retirement from boxing on April 14, 2009. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.