LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14: Boxer Oscar De La Hoya attends the nnouncement of his retirement from boxing April 14, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Known as the "Golden Boy," the former champ admitted to being hooked on drugs and alcohol, and said he considered suicide. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)2009 Getty Images
Oscar De La Hoya said in a wide-ranging interview that his drinking, drugs and womanizing, all belying his "Golden Boy" image, got so out of control that he considered suicide.
"Rock bottom was recently," the former boxing champ told Univision, according to an English-language transcript released by the network. "Within couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don't have the strength, I don't have the courage to take my own life but I was thinking about it."
De La Hoya said he's been going to rehab to deal with vices. He said he's been sober for three months after undergoing treatment and joining Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Mexican-American former fighter said he was unfaithful to his wife and that they were separated for a while – but that his infidelities never reached that of a certain golfer.
"We are obviously not talking a Tiger Woods here, but I was unfaithful," De La Hoya said.
De La Hoya retired in 2009 after a 16-year career in which he won 10 world titles in six divisions and became boxing's most popular fighter.
De La Hoya was thoroughly beaten by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight. He won his last title in May 2006, beating Ricardo Mayorga in six rounds for the WBC 154-pound belt. He finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts.
De La Hoya transcended his sport, using his bilingual skills to generate crossover appeal among Latinos and whites.
He began boxing at age 5, following in the path of his grandfather and father. He won an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games, delivering on a promise to his late mother, Cecilia, who died of breast cancer two years earlier.
"There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol, hmm. Cocaine was recent. The last two years, last two and a half years, and I depended more [on] the alcohol than the cocaine," De La Hoya said. "It took me to a place where I felt safe, it took me to a place where I felt as if nobody can say anything to me, it took me to a place where I just can reach out and grab my mom."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.