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De La Hoya’s rehab stint shocks some in the boxing world

Steve Cofield
Boxing

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DLHrehab

Several boxing legends of the last 15 years were in the news this weekend, but it was a mixed bag for Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya.

Hopkins, 46, became the oldest man in boxing history to win a legitimate world title while Jones, 42, was knocked out badly in Russia. The youngest of the three, De La Hoya, retired and struggling with issues away from the ring, checked himself into rehab. It's still unknown what sort of addiction De La Hoya, 38, is battling.

He issued this statement through Golden Boy Promotions:

"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.

"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.

"I ask for respect and privacy as my family and I go through this process."

The six-time world champion did not attend Golden Boy's Hopkins-Jean Pascal fight card in Montreal.

His former promoter Todd duBoef with Top Rank Promotions was caught off guard.

"I had no idea," duBoef told the Las Vegas-Review Journal.  "When I heard the news, I was stunned. Obviously, you hope he can get through whatever it is he's dealing with and that he comes out of it well."

Freddie Roach, a former De La Hoya trainer, was also stunned.

"I was kind of shocked," Roach said. "But people go through things in life. I hope he gets well soon."

De La Hoya retired in April of 2009 and last fought in Dec. of 2008. He lost badly in that final bout against Manny Pacquaio. Pacman's conditioning coach Alex Ariza pointed to the way he went out as a possible reason for De La Hoya's struggles.

"I think it does because you think back on it and probably said, `I should have done things this way. I should have done things differently," Ariza told GMANews. "I'm sure, there was a lot of doubt and questions, being the athlete that he was. I'm sure he is such a competitor. I think it's one of those things that he is probably questioning himself. There are a lot of variables, and I think the competitor in him is always going to be like that."

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