The retired boxer welcomed his two eldest sons with different women in 1998 — during his romance with Atiana’s mother, Shanna Moakler. While Jacob’s mom is De La Hoya’s ex-girlfriend Toni Alvarado, Devon was born after De La Hoya had a one-night stand with Angelique McQueen. As De La Hoya’s struggles with substance abuse escalated, he left Moakler for Millie Corretjer in 2000. The spouses relocated to Puerto Rico, going on to welcome three more kids.
“I would only see him every so often, maybe, like, once a year,” Atiana recalled in the doc. “And I remember — I think it might have been fourth grade or something — and we were supposed to get dinner and then go to Color Me Mine because I loved art. And I remember trying to think of, like, what I would say. Like, ‘Am I going to call him dad?’ And I remember going to Color Me Mine and he painted, like, a cheeseburger and I had the cheeseburger in my room for … it’s probably still somewhere, to be honest.”
Atiana, who is extremely close to former stepfather Travis Barker, explained that she heard about her dad more than she saw him. “I think a lot of people knew him better than I did because they watched his career. So my idea of him wasn’t necessarily from our relationship, but it was more from who I was told he was,” she said.
Jacob told a similar story. “When I was 7 or 8, I think we went to Chuck E. Cheese or something and then he’d disappear for a couple years,” he said. “He supported me financially, paid for my schooling. But other than that, he wasn’t that parent figure.”
De La Hoya admitted he “left it up to the mothers to take care” of Jacob, Devon and Atiana.
“I was going to Big Bear a few times because I know he used to train up there. I’d see my uncle, my grandpa and my dad and Millie. [They’d say], ‘These are your half-siblings, you know, say hi,’” Jacob detailed. “[Millie] was very family oriented and she wanted to bring everyone closer and have everyone have that relationship with their father. But, I probably felt some sort of pain or anger, sadness. My dad — he’s not the biggest communicator. Your feelings were your feelings and, you know, they don’t mean anything. You move on and get over it.”
De La Hoya went on to reveal that Corretjer didn’t even know Devon existed until she read about her husband having two sons in the media. “I think she found out about Devon in a gossip magazine. She was pissed. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation, to say the least,” he confessed.
Devon, for his part, said his dad was just “the guy on TV” and who he watched on YouTube.
“My mom tells me stories about the fight when he got knocked down. And I was just screaming and crying because I thought he died,” Devon said. “He raised me through a screen, almost. It’s just hard, [like], ‘You’re hanging out with your other children, why not me?’ Kids would say I’m just some rotten, spoiled kid whose father’s Oscar De La Hoya. [They’d say], ‘You have everything you want in this world.’ I had nothing.”
Devon, who was living in Las Vegas with his mother, took up an interest in boxing as something he could “latch on to” to have “that connection” with his dad. “It was almost like I knew him. But he knew nothing about me,” he said. “I was just confused. What’s holding him back?”
De La Hoya’s explanation for not knowing Devon when he was growing up was that “time just goes by” and things “turned messy.”
“Then I’m just like, ‘Ah f—k. Let me just go back and focus on my one thing that makes me happy and that’s been in the ring and f—king fighting,’” he said before admitting he was “scared” to confront his past.
After 16 years, Devon — who noted his mother tried to contact De La Hoya through his team and lawyers — reached out to his dad via Instagram.
“I said, ‘Hey, you know, now’s the time. I’m grown enough to understand. … Let’s just be both the bigger man and just get this over with.’ I met him when I was 16,” Devon said, recalling meeting his dad at a Mexican restaurant in a private room at MGM. “He came to the back door. And I saw and I just started bawling. … The emotions going through my body were just sad, happy — the whole nine. But also angry. I just wanted to hug him, but also, you know, I just wanted to f—king punch him in the face. But I just held him as tight as could and I didn’t want to let go.”
De La Hoya called the situation his biggest regret. “When I first saw him, all I saw in his eyes was the pain that I caused,” he said. “That killed me.”
While they didn’t grow up together, Jacob, Devon and Atiana eventually bonded.
“The first time I met [Devon, I sat next to him on the same plane,” Atiana said of the siblings traveling to a fight in Texas. “You don’t realize, like, how much you have in common with your brother that you never knew. We’re gonna become best friends, but then we’re kind of like, ‘Why would you sit us on a plane next to each other for us to, like, meet for the first time?’ So we got to Texas and we had hotel rooms directly next to each other.”
Devon recalled that Jacob was on the same trip: “I was in my hotel room and my brother knocked on my door. It was just like, ‘Hey brother.’ And we just hugged it out.”
“I’ve developed a close relationship with my younger brother Devon and Atiana,” Jacob added. “Looking at it now, we’ve all kind of been struggling with the same things, which is something that we can relate on.”
Atiana acknowledged that they “all grew up really differently” but have a lot in common. “I guess what I didn’t expect was how similar we all are. We’re the same three people,” she said.
“We tell each other all the time how much we love each other,” Devon, who now works at Golden Boy with De La Hoya, explained. “We, more than our dad, look out for each other.”
De La Hoya concluded that he was a “coward” who wished his mother was alive to give him guidance when his oldest children were born. “She would have reminded me, ‘Son, that kid is your priority now. F—k boxing. Jacob, Devon and Atiana, these are your championship belts. These are your gold medals,’” he said.
Jacob, Devon and Atiana noted that their relationships with De La Hoya are still “rocky” amid his issues with drinking. The siblings remembered calling out their dad for an embarrassing, drunk Instagram Live in recent years.
“There’s no one in his life that’s going to say no to him,” Atiana said. “We are the only people that can do that. … He’s asked for forgiveness and he’s also made it clear that he’s going to try to do better. It’s the best thing that someone can ask for.”
Atiana’s mom, Moakler, was also featured in the doc.
“He and I actually went to dinner not that long ago,” Moakler said. “He said, ‘You know, you didn’t deserve that. I’m truly, truly sorry for humiliating you and hurting you.’ And it was sincere and it was like I had, like, that glimmer of a friend back and I hadn’t seen him since he had left me. … But I still think he’s a work in progress.”
Parts 1 and 2 of The Golden Boy are streaming now on Max.