All that glitters is not always golden.
That’s the line Warner Bros. Discovery used to describe the two-part documentary about boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.
The Golden Boy is giving fans a no-holds-barred look at his life. The journey was an emotional one for the champ. He even choked up talking about it to KTLA 5’s Sam Rubin.
“I was bawling like a baby,” he said about filming. “It’s a documentary that’s very open and very authentic. It just takes you through my whole life of literally what happened. How was I treated when I was six years old, from my parents, from the world when I won the gold medal.”
When it came to boxing, it was an outlet for De La Hoya to release the rage he had pent up inside him from living in an abusive home.
“The boxing ring is my escape,” he explained. “The boxing ring is like my safe haven. I feel safe there.”
Some of the issues he was trying to escape stemmed from his relationship with his mother.
In 1992, De La Hoya won the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Right after his win, a narrative followed him for decades. The story was that the champ won the gold to make good on a promise he made to his dying mother.
It turns out, that was false.
“I get off the ring and I’m doing this interview with Fred Rogen and he (asks) me ‘How does it feel winning the gold medal for your mother who you promised?’ And I’m thinking like, wait, that didn’t happen that way. So that lie lived on forever, like Oscar De La Hoya winning the Gold Medal for his dying mom. Just living with that and going with that story kind of weighed on me forever and the documentary’s telling you the whole truth.”
The boxing superstar felt it was important to share his story to show there was more behind the smile on his face.
“Imagine all the pain inside and you have to put a smile on and it’s what I thought about (with) this film. It taught me a lot about myself, how strong I am, how courageous I am,” he said. “I think this wasn’t easy to do at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a documentary from a celebrity or athlete at this level, who will come out and say all this and I think that I didn’t do it for anybody else. I didn’t do it so people can say, ‘Oh my gosh, I can do it too.’ No, I did it because I wanted to free myself. I wanted to literally heal all the wounds.”
“Finally, the bandaid is off. I feel amazing. After all the work, I’ve done therapy, rehabs, and all that. I guess (it) prepared me for this moment. So I can tell my story in a real way and authentically, just tell it the way it was. Right now I just feel liberated.”
“The Golden Boy” premieres on HBO on July 24 at 9 p.m. and will also stream on MAX.