September 10, 2013 / 9:36 PM / 5 years ago

De La Hoya enters rehab for substance abuse

Oscar De La Hoya points towards the crowd before an official weigh-in for WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

(Reuters) - Oscar De La Hoya has returned to rehab to deal with a substance abuse problem and will miss a mega-fight his company promoted between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, the former boxing great said on Tuesday.

Since retiring from the ring in 2009, De La Hoya has become one of the sport’s top promoters through his company Golden Boy Promotions but will not be ringside at the MGM Grand on Saturday for the title bout between Mayweather and challenger Alvarez.

“I will not be at the fight to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself into a treatment facility,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “I explained this to Canelo and he understood that my health and long-term recovery from my disease must come first.

“I ask for your support and privacy during this difficult time for me and my family.”

After winning a gold medal for the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics, De La Hoya embarked on a professional career winning 10 world titles in six different weight classes.

The “Golden Boy,” as De La Hoya is nicknamed, was at one time recognized as boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter and sport’s most marketable boxer.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue

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