Oscar De La Hoya is opening up on one of the most traumatic experiences of his life ... revealing he was raped at age 13 by an "older woman" -- something he's still struggling to come to terms with today.
The 48-year-old boxing legend detailed the alleged incident for the first time this week ... claiming it happened at a boxing tournament in Hawaii with a woman who was "over 35."
"I was raped at 13, from a woman, an older woman," ODLH told the L.A. Times. "13, lost my virginity over being, you know, being raped, basically."
De La Hoya says he used fighting to cope with the trauma from his childhood ... which included the experience in Hawaii.
"You suppress everything," he added. "You’re living this life, the 'Golden Boy,' but, oh s***, wait, that’s still there. Like, I never thought about it, I never processed it, I never really thought how my feelings are ... until one day it just comes out, and you don’t know how to deal with it."
ODLH -- who has previously dealt with drug and alcohol abuse -- says he has been working on improving his health ... because he felt he was "going to throw my life away."
De La Hoya himself has faced sexual assault accusations in the past -- he was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1996 when he was 23, which reportedly resulted in a settlement outside of court ... and another woman claimed he raped her in 1999, which he's adamantly denied.