MONTREAL – Former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, entered a California rehabilitation facility recently.
The story was originally reported by TMZ.com and was confirmed Saturday night by Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy's CEO.
"All I will say is that Oscar is my friend, and I wish him well," said Schaefer, who's also a longtime friend of De La Hoya. "I am sure all the fans join me in wishing him well."
Schaefer, who is in Montreal promoting a fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal for the World Boxing Council light heavyweight title, said De La Hoya has been in rehab for the past couple weeks. However he would not say where, or whether it was for drugs, alcohol or both.
De La Hoya released a statement to TMZ in which he said he was dealing with personal problems. TMZ reported De La Hoya is seeking help for substance abuse issues, though that could not be independently confirmed and De La Hoya's statement is not specific regarding the issue for which he is seeking treatment.
"After doing an honest evaluation of myself, I recognize that there are certain issues that I need to work on," De La Hoya's statement to TMZ read. "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."
De La Hoya was one of the biggest stars in boxing after winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He won professional world titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds and succeeded Mike Tyson as the biggest pay-per-view draw in the sport.
De La Hoya last fought in 2008, when he was beaten decisively by Manny Pacquiao and the fight was stopped following eight one-sided rounds. He announced his retirement in April 2009, four months after the loss to Pacquiao.
He has concentrated on running his promotional company since, and De La Hoya has been a very visible figure, attending news conferences and doing interviews. On Saturday, he posted a series of messages on the social networking site Twitter regarding the Hopkins-Pascal fight.
- Oscar De La Hoya