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De La Hoya's disclosures no surprise

9/1/2011

Your random thoughts ...

The good news is that Oscar De La Hoya has come clean. About his years of boozing. About his cocaine use, which he says began about 2.5 years ago (which just happened to be not too long before he retired from the ring). And about his multiple infidelities to his wife, Millie.

De La Hoya, who previously acknowledged entering a rehabilitation facility in May (where he spent nearly two months), went into the specifics of his addictions and his marital mess during an interview with Univision on Tuesday.

I'm certainly glad to see De La Hoya come clean and to see him try to regain control of his life. But I have to say that none of this surprised me, and I don't think it came as much of a surprise to anyone else who knows De La Hoya. His partying ways and womanizing have never been much of a secret.

He also talked about his issues and his thoughts of suicide.

"Rock bottom was recently," De La Hoya said in the interview. "Within a couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don't have the strength, I don't have the courage to take my own life, but I was thinking about it."

Of course, I am glad he didn't. He's a fighter fighting through tough times.

He says he has been sober for three months, going to AA meetings and taking things one day at a time.

And as long as he was coming clean, he was coming clean all the way, it seemed. He also admitted that the scandalous photos taken during a liaison with stripper Milana Dravnel at a Philadelphia hotel in 2007 were, in fact, real. She had snapped embarrassing photos of De La Hoya wearing fishnet stockings, high heels and a tutu, to be specific, while he was posing in sexually suggestive positions. The photos found their way onto the Internet and he denied they were real. His enablers and lawyers swore they were fake because their so-called "experts" said they were. Lawsuits ensued.

And now?

"Let me tell you, yes, it was me," he said of the photos in the interview with Univision. "I'm tired of lying, lying to people, lying to myself."

He also said the shots were taken while he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

"Alcohol and cocaine. Yes, both," he said in the interview. "Yes, and it was the first time I used it, and the drugs were not like alcohol. For me, I know I need alcohol more than drugs ... but [I] got into very bad things."

All told, this whole episode has been an ugly scandal that has further tarnished the Golden Boy's image. But this too shall pass. If De La Hoya is serious about staying clean and sober, it's better to be honest, get it all out in the open and begin a healing process that is surely more difficult than overcoming any boxing injury he's ever had.

&#8226; There are dangers to taping a television interview days before it airs. Let this De La Hoya scandal be a lesson to CNN's Piers Morgan, an otherwise excellent interviewer who had taped his conversation with welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz and De La Hoya several days ago, before it aired Wednesday night. Even though De La Hoya's Univision interview aired Tuesday and was a major story of the day, there was no mention of it during Morgan's show. That probably surprised many who had heard about De La Hoya's admissions the day before and were looking for some sort of follow-up. Had Morgan's interview been live, he certainly would have at least touched on the story. Everyone else was talking about it. I started getting interview requests from sports radio shows around the country on Wednesday morning. Yet Morgan, with a significant prime-time show, completely missed the boat and looked foolish because of it.

&#8226; I thought Alexander Povetkin looked OK while outpointing Ruslan Chagaev to win a sham heavyweight belt on Saturday. Although he got the job done against Chagaev, a solid top-10 opponent, nothing I saw from Povetkin made me think he would stand a chance in hell against Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.

&#8226; Separated at birth: heavyweight contender Robert Helenius and NBA star Dirk Nowitzki.

&#8226; Square Ring promoter John Wirt is trying to make a mandated light heayweight title eliminator between his fighter, the very promising Ismayl Sillakh, and veteran Chris Henry. It's an interesting fight, yet Wirt has had no luck finding a willing television outlet for what is a very affordable fight. What a shame.

&#8226; I was quite happy to hear that Robert Guerrero's shoulder surgery went well.

&#8226; Let me get this straight: David Diaz turned down a purse of at least $150,000 to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in July and instead took a fight with Hank Lundy, a big favorite who drilled him on the Aug. 19 "Friday Night Fights" season finale, for about $15,000? Diaz's admission to the Winky Wright School of Boxing Business has been approved.

&#8226; The more I think about a fight between Marcos Maidana and Brandon Rios, the giddier I get. Memo to Golden Boy and Top Rank, who are doing business together once again: Make this match. ASAP.

&#8226; I wonder how long it will be until Kelly Pavlik makes his inevitable return.

&#8226; Zab Judah recently filed a formal protest to the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the ending to his July 23 knockout loss to Amir Khan, claiming that the body punch that finished the fight was a low blow. Good luck with that. There's probably a better chance of a Marvelous Marvin Hagler comeback than the result of the bout being overturned.

&#8226; Condolences to Main Events' Jolene Mizzone on the recent death of her 63-year-old father, John Mizzone Jr.

&#8226; Paging Timothy Bradley Jr.

&#8226; Happy 90th birthday to a true boxing legend and a wonderful gentleman, the great Angelo Dundee, who celebrated the big day Aug. 30.

&#8226; DVD pick of the week: There are some of my DVDs that I rarely pop in, but then there are those that are go-to discs in heavy rotation, such as this all-time classic that took place 30 years ago -- yes, 30 years ago -- this month: the first legendary battle between Sugar Ray Leonard (30-1 at the time) and Thomas Hearns (32-0), who met Sept. 16, 1981 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to unify the welterweight title in one of the most significant fights in boxing history. Hearns dominated early until Leonard came roaring back to hurt Hearns in the sixth round. Then Hearns took over again, forcing Dundee, Leonard's famed trainer, to utter the all-time famous quote to his man before the 12th round: "You're blowin' it now, son, you're blowin' it." Inspired, Leonard, his left eye swollen, came out and battered Hearns in the 13th round, scoring a knockdown, and then stopped him in the 14th round. Just a great fight with huge historical significance.