LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Former boxing champ and Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya says he is battling addictions to cocaine and alcohol and seeking to rebuild his relationship with his wife after being unfaithful.
De La Hoya, in his first interview since leaving a Malibu rehabilitation clinic, told the Spanish-language network Univision in an interview broadcast on Tuesday that his life was “a big mess.”
“Rock bottom was recently, within a couple of years. Just, thinking, ‘Is my life even worth it?,’“ De La Hoya said.
The 38 year-old former boxer, who won a gold medal in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, said that he thought about committing suicide, but does not “have the courage” to take his own life.
De La Hoya, a Mexican-American fighter with matinee idol good looks, said that he has been sober for three months.
He also discussed his difficulties with wife Millie Corretjer, a Puerto Rican-born singer with whom he has two children.
“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife,” De La Hoya told Univision.
He added that he had cheated more than once, and that he was separated from his wife for a time.
“I don’t want to explain to her anymore that I’m doing well, I want to show her,” he said. “It’s like they say, you have to walk the walk, and that’s what I’m doing.”
De La Hoya said he abused alcohol and cocaine, and that he began using cocaine about two and a half years ago, about the time he retired from boxing in 2009.
The boxer also said that before he left the rehabilitation center in Malibu, he paid for another three weeks of treatment in case he needs to return in the future.
“It’s the biggest fight of my life,” he said.
He described his addiction problems as a “monster,” and compared it to the top boxers he has fought in the past.
“I’ve been up against, you name it, everybody. I can put Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, (Fernando) Vargas, I can put all of my opponents in one ring and battle all of them, but this monster is going to be the toughest fight of my life.”