Oscar De La Hoya is currently making the media rounds in New York City, doing a bunch of interviews to promote the upcoming Canelo Alvarez/Gennady Golovkin fight that is being promoted by his Golden Boy Promotions. As part of his whirlwind tour, De La Hoya stopped by Power 105 in NYC on Thursday morning for a sit-down interview with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha God on The Breakfast Club. And while De La Hoya spent the majority of the interview talking about the current state of boxing and discussing his disdain for many of the moves Floyd Mayweather has made in recent years—De La Hoya has repeatedly referred to Mayweather’s recent fight with Conor McGregor as a "farce"—he also touched on a completely different topic about his life.
About a decade ago, a handful of photos that showed De La Hoya dressed in drag were posted online after a woman sold them to a tabloid. In the photos, De La Hoya was seen wearing fishnet stockings and high heels, and while he initially denied the legitimacy of them, he eventually admitted that the photos were, in fact, real. He also admitted that he had a substance abuse problem and later checked himself into rehab to seek treatment.
Since that time, De La Hoya hasn’t spoken much about the cross-dressing photos, but they continue to circulate online and seem to pop up every few months. So while he was interviewing De La Hoya on The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne decided to ask the former boxer to address the photos. "What the hell were you doing?" Charlamagne asked.
The question appeared to catch De La Hoya a little off guard, but he didn’t shy away from answering it.
"A bad time in my life," De La Hoya said. "That’s it. That happened, what, 10 years ago? They’re still popping up, but that’s the power of the social media."
Charlamagne then asked if the photos made it difficult for De La Hoya to launch Golden Boy Promotions once his boxing career ended. He said that it didn’t play much of a role in the formation of his company.
"No, no, no," he said. "We’re the best promoter in the world today. So it has nothing to do with it. It just has something to do with my personal life at that time, which was 10 years ago. In America, you have the opportunity to rise and shine and get better and be better, and so that’s exactly what I’ve done."
And while they moved on from that specific line of questioning after De La Hoya addressed the photos, Charlamagne returned to that period in De La Hoya’s life later in the interview and pointedly asked him about the personal issues he faced at the end of his boxing career in the late 2000s. Specifically, he asked De La Hoya, "What led to the coke and booze?" which led to De La Hoya talking at length about the challenges he faced at that time.
"It was just a bad time in my life," De La Hoya said. "Bad time in my life. It was one of those times where it’s like you sometimes lose your identity when you retire. You hear about all these athletes and actors and this and that and they lose themselves and this and that. 'What do I do now? Who am I now?' I was in a bad place, a really bad place. But I’m actually glad that I was able to bring myself back to the light. Because there’s a lot of people who just cannot come back to the light. There’s tons of them. There’s a lot of sad cases that take place. You hear about it every single day, famous people and just average Joes in the street. It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. It’s tough to be out there and be a celebrity and be a famous person, whatever, with money and this and that. It’s tough when you lose your identity. How do you bring it back? How do you gather yourself back and correct yourself and go down that correct path once again? That was the toughest fight of my life."
You can hear De La Hoya address the cross-dressing photos at the 11:35 mark in the video above. You can also hear him address his substance abuse issues at the 26:50 mark. Additionally, you can check out De La Hoya’s interview with Hot 97, which also aired on Thursday morning, in the video below.