Oscar De La Hoya has groomed Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to become the world’s top boxer, but De La Hoya announced Tuesday that he will not attend Alvarez’s fight Saturday to do that against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
De La Hoya announced through a publicist that he has decided to voluntarily check himself into a treatment facility.
The former multiple-division world champion and president of Mayweather Jr.-Alvarez promotional company Golden Boy Promotions has battled alcohol-, drug- and sex-addiction issues in the past.
“Canelo Alvarez and I have big fights coming up this weekend. His is the ring and mine in treatment,” De La Hoya said in the statement. “I will not be at the fight to cheer ‘Canelo’ to victory. ... I explained this to ‘Canelo’ and he understood that my health and longterm recovery from my disease must come first. Thank you for your understanding. I ask for your support and privacy during this difficult time for me and my family.”
De La Hoya recently discussed his battle with addiction with Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre.
"If anybody thinks this is easy," De La Hoya told Dwyre, "I'll tell them I'd rather get in the ring with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Manny Pacquiao -- all at the same time. That would be easier."
De La Hoya on Monday responded to some critical comments made by Mayweather.
“Oscar ... likes to run around with this golden-boy image, which we know really is [false],” Mayweather told The Times late last month. “He’s always been jealous of me. I’m the total package.”
Mayweather, who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol, said De La Hoya’s public appearances are “real embarrassing. I wouldn’t even show up to the fights if I were him.”
De La Hoya, through his secretary, Nicole Becerra, in an email, said he is "deeply sorry if he hurt or made any hurtful comments towards Floyd -- deeply sorry and he apologizes, and one day he will make amends to him personally.”
Becerra added that De La Hoya wanted it relayed: "I am a grateful recovering alcoholic."
De La Hoya attended Alvarez’s media day in Big Bear Lake late last month and told The Times that he wanted to spend the days leading up to the fight huddling and planning with his protege. De La Hoya lost a split-decision to the unbeaten fighter in 2007 -- the richest pay-per-view fight in history.
“All their hard work is done, it’s a matter of tweaking, tweaking whatever has to be polished up,” De La Hoya said then. “It’s nothing major, but I’ll watch him work and I’ll pick up a lot. That’s what I can contribute, if anything. Even if it’s one little thing. That one little thing can come up and prove big.”