Oscar De La Hoya is praising Travis Barker for being a knock out dad.
The boxer recently opened up about the positive influence the Blink 182 drummer had on his and ex Shanna Moakler's daughter Atiana, 24, reflecting on why he was absent for a lot of her childhood.
"I basically ran away," Oscar admitted on the Allison Interviews podcast July 20. "I was scared. I was fearful. I did try to be a father full time for a few years, and it was beautiful."
But during those years, negative thoughts started to creep up in his head.
"It was amazing to raise a little girl," the 50-year-old continued, "but there came a point where you say to yourself, ‘Wait a minute. You're not worthy of this.' You try to convince yourself that you are not worthy of this; that love is not possible in your life, because of what I lived through, not receiving that love when I was a kid."
He further pointed to the dynamic that shaped his childhood.
"My father never told me, ‘I love you.' My mother never told me she loved me," Oscar explained. "She never really gave me a hug. When I would cry, she would start hitting me. That is how bad it was."
So, at the time, the heavyweight champion felt it was best for Travis and Shanna—who divorced after four years in 2008—to raise Atiana, due to his trauma. (The musician and former beauty queen are also parents to Landon, 19 and Alabama, 17.)
"You convince yourself that you are not worthy of giving love," Oscar noted. "Then you start feeling sorry for yourself. Life starts just spiraling and you're lost. All you want to do is drink and do drugs and escape. Luckily for me, when I was boxing, all the way to the end, it kept me in line. I always felt I wasn't worthy of anything, that I wasn't worthy of love."
But that's not to say he didn't have a relationship with his daughter, it was just a different one.
"As a father I was always there, but not there, you know?" he quipped. "It wasn't your typical relationship with the father and the mother there 24/7. It wasn't like that, but obviously she is my daughter and I love her. You have to check in and you worry. Even though I was apart, I felt like I was always close, but I didn't feel like I was worthy enough to do the job."
But these days, Atiana is all grown up, with Oscar being proud his daughter can pack a punch with her own path.
"I love it," the Hall of Famer told E! News in June 2022. "I always wished the best for her. That's what a father always wants for his daughter. So, I give her all the love I can give her and I'm always there as her number one fan."