professional boxer has fallen victim to substance abuse.
Sadly, this news has become all too common in athletes.
Oscar De La
Hoya adds to the total after recently checking himself
into rehab. It is rumored that ODLH may have a cocaine
problem, but no facts have yet proved that. Otherwise it
has been reported, first by TMZ, as substance abuse
"After doing an
honest evaluation of myself, I recognize that there are
certain issues that I need to work on,” said De La Hoya
in a statement issued to TMZ. “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.”
notable fighters such as Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton,
Kelly Pavlik and Mike Tyson to mention only a couple of
the long list, have all been involved in their own
substance abuse issues in recent years.
38, is the last man to have beaten Bernard Hopkins, (who
on Saturday became the oldest fighter to ever win a
world title at the age of 46), in a light heavyweight
bout back in April of 2008. He retired after defeating
Roy Jones Jr. in November of 2008, compiling a record of
46-0 with most of his fights at super middleweight.
Then, the 38-year-old was caught taking
hits to the nose in a cocaine sting by a local tabloid
newspaper in March of 2010.
32, was also caught up in his own scandal in September
of 2010 after pounding down seven lines of cocaine that
was videotaped by his “Lady friend” on that particular
night. He has not officially retired, but has not fought
since his devastating loss to Manny Pacquiao in May of
well where do we start with him? The 44-year-old has had
multiple run-ins with the white powder and substance
abuse dating all the way back to his fighting days. He
even tested positive for marijuana after knocking his
opponent out in the second round in October of 2000 in a
bout which was later ruled a “No contest” by the
Michigan Athletic Commission.
Pavlik, the only of the aforementioned that is still an
active fighter is dealing with his own substance abuse.
The Youngstown, Ohio native served a couple stints in an
alcohol rehab and finally got his boxing back on track
with a win on the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Shane
Mosley pay-per-view fight. His story is still yet to be
written, but if he is already having these problems the
future looks to be a bumpy one.
The list could
go on for days, but most athletes involved in such high
contact sports fall victim to recreational drug use.
That is a sad reality that has happened to countless
professional athletes in all sports, not just boxing.
Fighters have to find a way to fill that void that they
no longer experience from competing. As a professional
boxer myself, I can tell you that there is no substitute
for the adrenaline I get from being in that boxing ring
and knocking someone out. There is a fine line between a
fighters passion and dedication to his craft and being
an obsessive addict to that adrenaline rush.
It seems like
such an open and close criticism of all these athletes,
but nobody knows the stress and life of an athlete on
the level of a Tyson or De La Hoya. In no way am I
condoning drug abuse or any illegal activity. What I am
saying is that all professional athletes should have to
undergo some sort of psychiatric exam upon retirement.
We enjoy them while they are here, but have no idea what
it does to a man after he has been put out to pasture,
so-to-speak. Just because some of these fighters do
non-humanlike things in the ring, does not mean that
they are not human outside of that ring.
career and my life, I have always met all challenges
head-on, and this is no different,” De La Hoya told TMZ.
“I am confident that with the support of my family and
friends, I will become a stronger, healthier person.”
Fighters are a
special breed and if substance abuse is detected early
enough, they can over come any obstacle. I have all the
confidence in the world that De La Hoya can and will
pull through this.
"The only one who can tell you
'you can't ' is you. And you don't have to listen."
Previous blogs by Travis Hartman
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Hopkins, Pacquiao deserve
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Dear Mr. Arum: Have you gone in-Sainz?
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Injury, layoff inspire an appreciation of my
Remembering a superman named Roy Jones Jr.
Call it an off night for Devon Alexander
Hey! I was that kid who whipped today's No. 4
Does boxing need power-mongers like
Athlete vs. Writer: Two Sides of The
Auto wreck delays rematch with Teddy Atlas
Manny & Me: Six Degrees of Separation
'Better to try and fail than never try
'At fight time, you're on your own'
'Pull a Buster Douglas on them'
Training (but, regrettably, not
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Ready to do battle for the
Love what you do, and do what you love
Living a dream in a rough, tough business
Another step, and a big fight in my
This fight's not over -- and it's no longer
A dream gig is suspended
by the incompetence & arrogance
Never be afraid to dream
Raging in York & dreaming of
Why I'm facing an unbeaten
foe on short notice (again!)
Advice from a legend spurs
this boxer on
The truth about the boxing game: 'Boxers don't play'
Early mornings, freezing
weather, miles of roadwork ...
After a superb amateur
career, the fighter evaluates why his pro experience has been so very different
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