Oscar De la Hoya's life outside ring is a disaster, from Olympic lie and mum beating him to failed relationships | The Sun

OSCAR DE LA HOYA has finally come clean and admitted he blatantly lied about one of boxing's most heart-wrenching stories.

Two years before going to the 1992 Olympics, the Golden Boy told the American media in a tear-jerking interview that his his 38-year-old mother Cecilia, who was dying of cancer, made him promise to return from Barcelona with the gold medal.

And when the handsome 19-year-old fulfilled that dream and arrived back in the US with the gong hanging from his neck, millions fell in love with him.

De la Hoya became an instant celebrity and President George H Bush gushed: "He has not only brought home the gold medal, he has brought honour to his mom's memory."

Sadly, it turns out Oscar made up that highly emotional conversation between mother and son.

That will come as a great shock to all those who idolised him and embraced that touching tale.


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In fact his Mexican mother used to physically abuse him – she constantly beat him as he grew up in the tough neighbourhoods of  East Los Angeles.

De la Hoya made it clear he wasn't going to sugar-coat anything as he bared his soul in a three-hour HBO documentary of his life shown on Sky.

He was obviously relieved to take the opportunity to unburden himself of a 30-year secret  by telling the truth about his mother.

Biting his lip to stop himself breaking down the Golden Boy admitted: "I was driven by a lie. It happened – emotion took over and it just caught fire.

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"The world fell in love with my story – I embraced it and just held on to it. When you are lying you are caught up in this web.

"My first thoughts of my childhood? Being afraid, pain. crying, anger. I hated it when she hit me – it was the worst. I never had the courage to tell my mother I loved her – I wish I did."

De la Hoya, was one of the greatest fighters of his generation  winning 11 world titles in six weight divisions – from super-featherweight to middleweight.

He was the most popular fighter since Muhammad Ali, who generated $750 million in PPV revenue yet he said: "I didn't live up to my potential in the ring  – I could have given a lot more." 

Early in his career I went to see him at his Big Bear altitude training camp in California's San Bernardino mountains and like everyone else I was captivated by the bi-lingual young man's charm and electrifying charisma.

Unfortunately his brilliance in the ring wasn't matched by his lifestyle outside the ropes, which was an unmitigated disaster.

Oscar said "I was 24 years old, making $15-20 million a fight – I was living the American dream. You start to separate yourself from the world. But I ruined good things all my life."

My first thoughts of my childhood? Being afraid, pain. crying, anger. I hated it when she hit me – it was the worst

Beautiful women threw themselves at him – a former Miss USA  was one of several partners who bore him six children. 

He didn't meet one of his sons until the boy was sixteen and Oscar admitted: "I didn't know how to be a parent."

Inevitably he became addicted to alcohol and cocaine and he spent time in rehab on several occasions.

But perhaps his  biggest shock moment came when he was photographed cross-dressing – wearing make-up, high heels a wig and a fishnet body stocking – in a picture which appeared on the front page of the New York Post.

Men like De la Hoya are envied for their wealth and fame but the reality is so many who come from the world's back streets haven't a clue how to handle it.

Oscar ended  with a moving but telling  appraisal of the time when he was America's darling.

He said "The Golden Boy – it's all f******   bull****, that's all it is. Nobody really loves me – I am just a commodity. It's time to live in reality."  

For the record, the other outrageous boxing porkie was Muhammad Ali 's revelation that he threw his Olympic gold medal in the Ohio river in disgust when he was refused service in a restaurant in segregated Louisville when he returned home from  Rome in 1960.

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Years later Bundini Brown, Ali's cornerman laughingly said "Oh yeah – the white honkies really fell for that one."

The medal was actually lost in a house move.

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