MANILA, Philippines – Retired boxing champion-turned- promoter Oscar de la Hoya admitted abusing alcohol while he was preparing for his 2008 fight against Manny Pacquiao.
De la Hoya, who owns Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), said he was so confident of beating Pacquiao back then that he carried his drinking habit up to the last week before the fight.
“I was drinking during camp. A week before the fight with (Manny) Pacquiao, I was having wine, beers, because I said he is not going to beat me,” De la Hoya, owner of 10 world titles, said in ESPN’s “El Bar” talk show.
Also appearing with De la Hoya on the show was his former foe, Mexican boxing hero, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr.
De la Hoya said he had no idea that Pacquiao would humiliate him in front of thousands of fight fans, giving him a beating until his corner saw enough in the 8th round.
"I have the height, the weight, he couldn't beat me," De la Hoya said of his belief going into the fight.
De la Hoya announced his retirement from boxing afterwards.
Chavez said he also drank alcohol and took drugs while preparing for boxing fights.
He said he would cut out his drinking three days before the fight so the alcohol wouldn’t show up in his system.
"For example, at times, I would leave spaces of a month and a half without using drugs or alcohol, but afterwards, I would shorten that time,” said Chavez.
"Then later, it would be one month, 20 days, later 15 days. One week, four days, three days, so it would not show in the doping (tests)."
De la Hoya said that both of them were smart enough to beat the drug testing before and after the fight.
"We are very intelligent," he said. "We knew how to plan to work the system."