Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez, a pair of Mexica-American former boxing championships, admitted on a new ESPN show that they drank alcohol and used drugs while training in the late stages of their illustrious careers.
On a debut show called “El Bar” and ESPN Deportes, the former champions reunited for the first time in 15 years for the taping in Los Angeles. De La Hoya admitted to host Andres Agulla that he drank before at least two championship fights — one against Manny Pacquiao and another he would not identify.
Chavez, who retired from boxing in 2005 with a 107-6-2 record, declined to mention specific fights before which he drank, but admitted there were several.
“The truth … during my training, it increased more and more,” Chavez said. “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.
“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, who had become a successful promoter since retiring, said he would plan on using alcohol in such a way that it wouldn’t be detected.
“We are very intelligent,” De La Hoya said. “We knew how to plan to work the system.”
De La Hoya, a former Olympic gold medalist who finished his career with a 39-6 record, said he and Chavez prepared well for their fights for much of their careers, but admitted that during his training for the Pacquiao fight in 2008, the final bout of his career, he veered from optimum preparation.
“I was drinking during camp,” he said. “A week before the fight with Pacquiao, I was having wine, beers, because I said he is not going to beat me. I have the height, the weight, he couldn’t beat me.”
But he Pacquiao did beat De La Hoya.
Chavez and De La Hoya said they underwent rehab and claim to have been clean for a few years.
The show, The Bar, premiers tonight on ESPN Deportes.