The 36-year-old, known as the “Golden Boy” and arguably the biggest name in boxing during the past decade, said he was hanging up his gloves because he felt he could no longer compete at the highest level.
“Boxing is my passion, boxing is what I was born to do,” a visibly emotional De La Hoya said at a press conference in his native Los Angeles.
“And when I can’t do it any more, when I can’t compete at the highest level, it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to the fans, it’s not fair to nobody. I’ve come to the conclusion that’s over, it’s over inside the ring for me.
“Knowing that you’re never going to compete again is a tough decision but now I am looking forward to the future of boxing.
“When I cannot compete at this level, I have come to the conclusion that it is over.”
De La Hoya, who in recent years has also risen to prominence as a promoter, ends his career with a win-loss record of 39-6 including 30 knockouts.