While the world looked up to him as boxing’s "Golden Boy," 11-time champion Oscar De La Hoya’s toughest and most detrimental opponent was really himself.
"At 50 years old, I can finally set myself free by telling my truth," he said in a First on FOX Business interview on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Wednesday. "It's all glitz and glamor, he can do nothing wrong, and he's making all this money and all these women and this and that."
"But yet inside," De La Hoya continued, "it's not the lifestyle I want to live. Yet inside, I'm confused on why I'm doing this, who I'm doing it for."
Sixteen years after throwing in the towel as a boxer, the now-promoter previewed his life story being told in an upcoming HBO documentary – titled after his legendary moniker.
Though he found unmatched success in the ring, De La Hoya told host Neil Cavuto he "lost" himself in harmful vices.
"I got into a lot of alcohol and drugs, and I just literally lost myself. And the fact that I had a relationship with my mother that was so disconnected; she never told me she loved me. I would always go to these clubs and pick up women," the boxer detailed.
"And it wasn't necessarily because you want to be with them," De La Hoya added, "you just want to talk and have a voice, some ears to listen to you. And I remember just crying and spilling all of everything to that stranger that I don't even know."
His reputation faced controversy when pictures of him wearing heels, fishnets and underwear were released to tabloids in 2007. Though he initially denied the photos were of him at the time, he admitted they were real four years later.
De La Hoya confirmed Wednesday that the cross-dressing photos were not part of a marketing or publicity scheme.
"Those were real pictures. That was me. The ironic part is, the crazy part is, that I don't remember it. I just do not remember it," he said.
At home, De La Hoya claimed to have an emotionally abusive relationship with both his mother and father, with him at one point having "no connection" to any family.
"Especially when I started winning money, I actually had to seclude myself from all my family so I wouldn't have to give my money away," the boxer recalled. "We are fighters and we supposed to be tough, but deep down inside, we're good people, we're nice people and we feel like we owe the world everything."
"I literally just told my father that I love him two years ago, and I couldn't tell my mother because she passed away when I was 18. So you can imagine all the pain and all the suffering and yet again, the fighting was my escape, being inside the ring," he said.
Today, "life is beautiful" for De La Hoya, who reflected that he must’ve been "depressed 10 times over" as a young man. He added that he’s grateful "I’m still here."
"That was my medicine. I do miss it every single day, stepping inside the ring. But I'm now okay with my own skin," the "Golden Boy" said. "I have my family and my work, and I have good people around me."