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Thread: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    De La Hoya picks Roach to train him
    After deciding against using the father of his opponent, Oscar goes with trainer of former flyweight champ Pacquiao.
    By Lance Pugmire, Times Staff Writer
    January 31, 2007

    Oscar De La Hoya officially moved past the nagging thoughts of hiring the father of his opponent to train for the "fight of his life," announcing Tuesday that he was aligning with trainer Freddie Roach.

    Less than a week after De La Hoya opted not to retain trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. for his fight against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., the 33-year-old World Boxing Council super-welterweight champion described Roach as someone, "I strongly believe will be in my corner 100%, passionate the way I am about this fight."

    Although Mayweather Sr. is feuding with his son and said he would return to the De La Hoya stable for $2 million, the boxer said he remained troubled by the specter of conflict.

    "My concern was, is Mayweather Sr. as passionate about a knockout as me? Or how will he feel if someone from his family calls him in the middle of camp and says, 'Don't do it,' " De La Hoya said.

    De La Hoya (38-4, 30 knockouts) is scheduled to fight WBC welterweight champion Mayweather Jr. (37-0, 24 KOs) May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fighters are expected to earn more than a combined $35 million, and the pay-per-view numbers are expected to make it the most lucrative non-heavyweight fight in history.

    Terms of the De La Hoya-Roach contract were not revealed.

    De La Hoya said he offered to pay Mayweather Sr. $500,000 for the fight, and another $500,000 if he won.

    Roach, 46, is a former journeyman boxer who suffered notable losses to Hector Camacho and former lightweight champion Greg Haugen. He's best known for training former super-bantamweight and flyweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.

    Roach also helped revive the career of James Toney, and briefly trained Mike Tyson. The Boxing Writers Assn. of America voted Roach trainer of the year in 2003.

    De La Hoya praised Roach as "a master at dissecting a fighter and figuring styles" to win. Roach said his plan for "the best fighter in the world in the biggest show in history" is for fight fans to see "the best Oscar ever; that's what it'll take to beat Floyd."

    lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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    The Oscar De La Hoya Chronicles: Parts 1 & 2

    The Oscar De La Hoya Chronicles:
    By Brent Matteo Alderson from Boxing Scene


    Every four years, we put our hopes into the young men and women that represent our country in the Olympics and this summer, America’s amateur boxing establishment is putting it’s hopes on the shoulders of a 5’10, 132-pound, nineteen-year-old kid named Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya isn’t one of those surprise stars that just pops out of the night’s sky, no, he’s probably been more hyped and has received more accolades than any amateur since Mark Breland was selling out arenas in New York in the early 1980’s.

    He already has a fan contingency that follows him from meet to meet and has
    all the qualities necessary to become boxing’s first true Hispanic cross over star. He’s well-spoken, good looking, bi-lingual, and he can fight. He’s a third generation boxer and because he is left handed and boxes from an orthodox stance his left hand is his bread and butter. He jabs with authority and has a wicked left hook and can easily hook off the jab.

    During the course of his stellar amateur career he’s compiled a 213-5 record and has won the National Golden Gloves, two U.S. amateur championships, and the 1990 Goodwill Games. To top it all off he’s only 19 years old and has been boxing since he was six and is not only favored to win a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, but he’s also favored to bring home the gold.

    De La Hoya’s life hasn’t been easy or with out hurdles. As the son of Mexican immigrants, Oscar grew up in East Los Angeles and in October of 1990, his most ardent supporter, his mother Cecilia, died of breast cancer. Oscar was deeply affected by the tragedy and has vowed to win the gold medal for her.

    “It’s affected me, but I started thinking, Why not just do it for her? That was her dream.” And with the added motivation Oscar has continued to relentlessly pursue his dream. “It pushes me to train harder and get that gold medal. I’m gonna do it and I don’t think anything is going to stop me from doing it.” After every fight Oscar drops to one knee and blows a kiss to his mother towards the sky.

    Just recently his journey to the Olympics hit a bump in the road when De La Hoya’s five year unbeaten streak ended when he lost a 17-13 decision to Germany’s Marco Rudolph in the second round of the 1991 Amateur World Championship in Australia, but Oscar feels like the loss will have a positive affect on the final stage of his amateur career.

    “After that, all the pressure was over. Now that I lost, all the pressure came off, and my performances are getting better. It made me really focused.” And Oscar is looking forward to the games to erase the stigma associated with that loss. “It was my fault that I lost that fight. I was thinking nobody could beat me. It got to my head. He knows it. I can see it in his eyes. I want to fight him on NBC so all the world can watch the rematch. I want them to introduce him as a world champion so I can take that title.”

    Oscar’s ability and charisma haven’t gone un-noticed by professional boxing’s power powerbrokers and the De La Hoya family already has a working relationship with Shelly Finkel, one of the game’s heavy-hitters who already manages World Champions Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, and Evander Holyfield.

    Finkel has helped the De La Hoya family by contributing $4500 dollars to Cecilia’s funeral expenses and by loaning Oscar $17,000 for a new car. He also regularly loans Oscar’s father money on a monthly basis for living expenses and has flown Oscar to Whitaker’s camp in Virginia where he received invaluable instruction from the legendary George Benton and had the opportunity to spar with IBF 130-pound champ John-John Molina.

    Finkel thinks Oscar is a solid professional prospect, but feels like Oscar needs to win the Gold Medal in order to develop the marketability required to immediately start a lucrative professional career.

    “Winning a medal may be even more important now than ever before. In the past you had television and a lot of other venues. Now, with out a medal, there are even fewer opportunities for a fighter to showcase himself. Now you need the gold medal. The money may not be the same that it was in 1984, but compared to other fighters starting out it will be as good or better.”

    Olympic success doesn’t necessarily translate into professional success. Mike Tyson lost to Henry Tillman in the Olympic trials in 1984 and knocked him out in one round in the professionals. And Howard Davis Jr. beat Aaron Pryor for a spot on the 1976 Olympic team and ended up winning the Gold, but was never able to win a world title. Still with his combination of looks, youth, and a wicked left hook, it looks like all Oscar has to do to become boxing’s next superstar is bring home the gold.

    Notes:

    This article was written in the present-tense with the intention of momentarily transplanting the reader back to the Spring of 1992 when De La Hoya was preparing for the Olympic trials.

    Marco Antonio Barrera is scheduled to face Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden on March 17 on HBO Pay Per View. I know Barrera wants to stay active, but at this stage of his career he shouldn’t be fighting Marquez, he should be cashing in and demanding the fight with the Pac-Man regardless of his promotional affiliation.

    Former Cruiserweight Champ Glenn McCory had a mediocre 14-5 (3) record when manager/trainer Beau Williford saw the young Englishman sparring and decided to bring him over to the States in order to try to develop him. Beau had him spar with James “Quick” Tillis who stated afterward, “This is a bad F______ white boy!” Couple of years later Glen ended up winning the IBF Cruiserweight title that had been vacated by Evander Holyfield.


    The Oscar De La Hoya Chronicles: Part II
    Recommend this page Printable version

    By Brent Matteo Alderson
    Photo © Ed Mulholland/FightWireImages.com

    It happened as if the boxing Gods had ordained it. Oscar De La Hoya met Marco Rudolph in the gold medal round of the Olympics, the same man who handed him his first loss in five years last summer in the 1991 Amateur World Championships.

    This time, Oscar performed like the boxing superstar that he’s destined to be by winning a dominating 7-2 decision that was punctuated by a third round knock down from De La Hoya’s vaunted left hook.

    Of the punch that seemingly secured him the Gold Medal and exacted sweet revenge for that disappointing loss the year before Oscar commented, “I really didn’t throw it with a lot of power. If I had I don’t think he would have gotten up!”

    Oscar’s ascendance to the top of an Olympic podium seemed imminent, but in reality winning Gold in Barcelona was anything, but easy.

    He barely squeaked by South Korea’s Sunk Sik Hong in the semi-finals by winning a razor thin 11-10 decision after getting penalized for holding in the last minute of the bout.

    He was fortunate not to be a victim of the controversial computer scoring system which injudiciously ruined the Olympic dreams of a number of fighters, specifically those of Americans Montell Griffin and Eric Griffin.

    Still, Oscar made good on the promise of winning the Olympics for his mother who died from breast cancer in October of 1990. Now his amateur career is over he’s looking forward to becoming a professional. He feels as though his boxing style and power are better suited for the pro-game.

    “In the amateurs, the idea was to throw as many punches as possible and in the pros, Oscar can settle down on his heels and really unload,” commented De La Hoya’s trainer Robert Alcazar.

    Considering Oscar is leaving the amateurs with a record of 223-5 and 153 knockouts it’s easy to see why the De La Hoya clan believes that the professional ranks will magnify Oscar’s power, especially since amateur fighters have to wear head gear and ten ounce gloves.

    Fighting without headgear isn’t the main reason why Oscar is looking forward to fighting as professional.

    “Above all I won’t ever again have to worry about the reflexes of five amateur judges, who have to tap a computer pad to show if a certain blow of mine is a clean shot.”

    In the pros it sounds like his fists are going to be the judge, jury, and the executioner.

    Oscar De La Hoya’s Olympic Recap Barcelona/1992
    July 3- KO 3 Adilson Silva (BRA)
    August 1 W 3 (16-4) Moses Odion (NIG)
    August 3 W 3 (16-7) Tontcho Tontchev (BUL)
    August 6 W 3 (11-10) Sung Sik Hong (SK)
    August 8 W 3 (7-2) Marco Rudolph (GER)

    Notes:

    This article was written in the present-tense with the intention of momentarily transplanting the reader back to the summer of 1992 when De La Hoya first broke into the public’s consciousness by winning the Olympics.

    Eric Griffin’s controversial loss to Rafael Lozano received the most attention from American Media, but I felt Montell Griffin’s loss to Torsten May was the most outlandish. Montell out fought the 6’4 German and opened a nasty cut over his right eye, but was allowed to continue and received a gift decision.

    Torsten had won the 1991 Amateur World Championships and had graced the cover of one of the International Amateur Boxing Association’s magazines. As a result he was perceived as their Olympic darling and seemingly received preferential treatment from the officials on his way to the Gold Medal.

    Current Lightweight World Champion Joel Casamayor won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Games in the 119 pound weight class.

    The boxers from the 1992 American Olympic were actually pretty successful as professionals. Montell Griffin, Chris Byrd. Raul Marquez, Vernon Forrest, Oscar De La Hoya, and Tim Austin all ended up winning major world titles.

    Felix Savon won his first Olympic Gold in Barcelona and would eventually equal Teofilo Stevenson’s feat of three Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medals.

    Laszlo Papp of Hungary, Teofilo Stevenson, and Felix Savon are the only boxers in history to have won three Gold medals.

    Brent Matteo Alderson, a graduate of UCLA, has been part of the staff at BoxingScene.com since 2004 and teaches Spanish at the High School level in Southern California. He has published articles in Ring Magazine, KO, World Boxing, Boxing 2006, and Latin Boxing Magazine. He has also been featured on the ESPN Classic television program “Who’s Number One?” Please e-mail any comments to BoxingAficionado@aol.com

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    So today we read how Floyd Mayweather Sr. badly disses a very respectable guy like Freddy Roach because of Oscar's decision to have Freddy train him instead of himself. Mayweather calls Oscar greedy, saying "his decisions are all about the money." And your aren't/ You wouldn't take half a million dollar guarantee (plus another half million if Oscar wins. But oscar is the greedy one? And then he decides to insult Freddy as a fighter and as a trainer? Mayweather was such a great fighter, such a money making superstar, that he became a drug dealer. Clown. I asked Marlon Starling (the only top fighter other than Sugar Ray Leonard -who stopped him- Floyd ever fought and he lost to him twice) and Marlon told me he had no trouble figuring out that shoulder rolling style. To me it doesn't matter if Floyd Senior is a good trainer or not anyway at this point because he is an ignorant, arrogant, nasty, JEALOUS, clownish fool with a severe inferiority complex whose words and actions far outweigh anything he has ever done as a boxing trainer.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    anybody that turns down a sure half mill and a possible half mill more for what is basicaly a few months work is an idiot...period.
    greg

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    & when you get down to it, excellent, veteran, fighters DON'I NEED a trainer like a younger fighter does. Oscar already knows what he has to do. Yes, it's good to have a guy who knows his fundementals & is a good motivator.

    But I feel the role of trainers with veteran fighters is VASTLY overrated. For instance, during Big George's comback do you really think he learned something from Dundee that he already didn't know?

    Of course not.

    & the same applies to Oscar. He knows his trade. Having Roach in his corner will only make one difference: We won't have to listen to Floyd Sr. spewing his bullshit ...

    & for that we should all be greatful - not too mention there is a certain shadenfroid when a total A-hole screws himself out of a million bucks because he just doesn't know when to shut up.

    GorDoom

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    shaden...what? who?

    also dlh avoids a very good possibilty of a dq taking place by having family issues disrupting a professional sporting event.

    greg

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by gregbeyer
    anybody that turns down a sure half mill and a possible half mill more for what is basicaly a few months work is an idiot...period.
    greg
    Perhaps he is doing some of that crack that he never sold.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Floyd Mayweather Sr - Chits and Bits
    By TK Stewart from Boxing Scene

    It’s not supposed to be the trainer that you notice in boxing but you can’t help but notice Floyd Mayweather, Sr. also known as "Big" Floyd. For most of them, their job is often thankless, anonymous and relegated to the background. Typically, theirs is a life of early mornings and late nights spent hanging out in smelly gyms, emptying spit buckets and barking out orders while trying to get hard messages through to pugs who have even harder heads. But then Floyd Mayweather, Sr. is not just any trainer and he has a hard time even saying the word anonymous. You see, staying in the background is not what he’s all about.

    Listen to "Big" Floyd and he’ll tell you that he’s the greatest boxing trainer in the world. Listen to him long enough and you begin to believe him. Need his opinion? You don’t have to ask for it because he’ll tell you; "Shit man, I’m the best and I’ve forgotten more than all of these other guys will ever know."

    Maybe he is the best. Up until last week he was the trainer of Oscar De La Hoya who just happens to be the biggest name in boxing. Then there is his son, "Little" Floyd or Floyd, Jr. who is currently regarded as the number one pound-for-pound boxer on the planet whom was trained by his father for many of his formative years and early in his pro career. Of his son, "Big" Floyd says this, "I taught him everything he knows, but I didn’t teach him everything I know." He’s also the trainer of Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila "She Be Stingin’" Ali who is the best lady boxer on the planet. And just last night he coached a young protégé named "Bad" Chad Dawson to the WBC Light Heavyweight title in an impressive victory over the previously undefeated Tomasz Adamek from Poland.

    He was a solid fighter in his own right who struggled to a career record of 29-6-1 (19)KO and he did get so far as to match wits with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978. He comes from a boxing family that includes well-known boxing brothers Roger and Jeff. But, he no longer trains his son and he hasn’t spoken to his brother Roger in over a decade. For that matter, it’s been several years since he has spoken to his own son, but that doesn’t stop "Big" Floyd from taking any of the credit for the success his son has experienced.

    Let "Big" Floyd tell you about "Little" Floyd; "People know that Floyd is the best fighter in the world because his Daddy trained him. I might not be training him now but I taught him everything he knows. Who do you think trained him from the beginning? It was me! It’s so plain to see that Ray Charles could see that one. I don’t think it was a miracle that Floyd became the fighter he is today. Somebody had to have been there to show him from day one."

    "Big" Floyd has often been a vocal critic of his son. After every one of his son’s fights, no matter how good he has or has not performed, the father always seems to know best and points out all of his son’s mistakes, no matter how small. The criticism is not lost on the son, "My father can say whatever he wants to say," the current, undefeated, WBC welterweight champion and four division titlist says. "He’s said he taught me everything I know but not everything he knows. I’m glad he didn’t, because then my record would be like his. He lost to one legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, but his other losses were to journeymen and cab drivers."

    "Big" Floyd never got a shot at a title and he never made the type of money in his entire boxing career that his son has made for even one fight. So who can blame him when he recently asked De La Hoya for $2 million to train him to fight his son for their May 5th super fight that will take place in Las Vegas?

    De La Hoya countered with an offer of $500,000 up front and another $500,00 if he won. "What I’m asking for is nowhere near what he’s going to make", said Floyd. "There’s too much money for me to take chits and bits."

    When the offer was left as a take or leave it, "Big" Floyd left it. He said no dice, that he’s not a gambler and that it was $2 million he would need to show Oscar the secrets of "How to beat my son".

    So instead, De La Hoya, who Floyd calls "super tight with a buck" chose Freddie Roach as his trainer. Floyd justifies the $2 million dollar asking price this way, "Oscar was sensational in his last fight" (a fifth-round stoppage of Ricardo Mayorga) "He didn't start looking sensational until he got with me. I know my job too well, man - and I'm not stupid, either. I have the blueprint for this fight. What other coach is he going to find to beat ‘Little’ Floyd? But, hey, it’s his money and it’s his call. It's not like I was uncomfortable with what he’s been paying me. It’s still six figures. But this is a little different ‘cause he’s fighting my son, man. I've already told him, 'That’s my son, and he’s going to be my son forever.’"

    Last week, Oscar announced that he had hired Freddie Roach to be his trainer for the fight against "Little" Floyd. If "Big" Floyd was hurt by Oscar’s sleight and the loss of what would have been $1 million he isn’t letting it show. "Fine", is what he says. "I make money, money don’t make me." What will I do? I'm not a fighter no more. What do I do for a living? I’m a boxing trainer, man…and the best in the business thank you very much…and that's what I’ll continue to do. I got me a whole bunch of fighters now, I know my job and I'll just keep doing my job, man. Shit"

    Floyd has disdain for just about every other trainer in the sport. Whether they be a hall of fame trainer such as Emanuel Steward or Buddy McGirt or Freddie Roach, Floyd is not impressed with any of them. "I couldn't care less about Freddie Roach", says Floyd. "Freddie Roach don't know shit, I can tell you that. You tell me, who has he really trained? He didn't train James Toney, James Toney trained himself. And who in the hell is Manny Pacquiao? He’s strong and he can punch hard, but that's it - he don't know how to box. So, tell me, who has he trained?"

    Having spent time in federal prison for cocaine trafficking in the late 1990’s, "Big" Floyd isn’t one to look back. He came out of prison with nothing and after becoming estranged from his son and getting the De La Hoya gig he now has a house in Las Vegas and a stable of fighters that look to him for his wisdom and acumen. He’s street smart and carries himself in a way that says, "Don’t come up in here". In his middle 50’s he looks like he could go fifteen rounds tomorrow if he had to.

    Last night in Kissimmee, Florida at the Silver Spurs Arena, "Big" Floyd worked his magic in the corner of Chad Dawson. At the post fight press conference he showed up in a tailored, designer, pin-stripe suit with a matching polka-dot tie while Dawson wore a T-shirt. Most boxing trainers usually don’t show up in designer suits, recite poetry to the media and make proclamations of their own immortality but Floyd Mayweather, Sr. is not most boxing trainers.

    Asked what he thought of the big fight on May 5th that he will not be a part of, Floyd, shrewdly, had this to say, "Oscar needs me more than my son does. Freddie Roach is a joke blowing smoke with no hope."

    And then the self-proclaimed "greatest boxing trainer in the word" was gone like the wind. After all, "Big" Floyd is a busy man and it’s like he told you - he don’t work for chits and bits.

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    The Sad thing here is

    THe longer that Floyd Sr. keeps having attention paid to him and articles written about him, the longer he will keep spouting off how good he thinks he is.

    Sometimes you just got to turn your back and pretend it's not there.

    If you leave him without an audience. He won't have anyone paying attention to his drivel.

    I feel like by even commenting on this, that I myslelf am feeding into this horse shot.

    Just go away.

    Hawk

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Steward Knew Big Floyd Was Toast
    By Bernard Fernandez from Max Boxing

    Everyone involved in boxing understands that the biggest, most profitable pay-per-view events aren’t always the result of the mere pairing of two outstanding fighters. To lure the fringe and non-fans in, there has to be some oddity, some man-bites-dog angle. Or, in the case of Mike Tyson, the lingering potential for man-bites-ear.

    As a commentator for HBO boxing telecasts, Emanuel Steward believes that the rarity of a major fight in which a trainer prepares his man to defeat the trainer’s son would have met all the criteria for just such a boost in public interest.

    “The father vs. son thing is highly unusual and there isn’t much question it would have been an ongoing storyline,” Steward said of the possibility, now dashed, that Floyd Mayweather Sr. would work Oscar De La Hoya’s corner for the “Golden Boy’s” May 5 megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The only comparable situation, Steward noted, is if bash brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko ever swapped blows, Cain and Abel style, in a heavyweight unification showdown.

    But Klitschko vs.Klitschko isn’t ever going to happen (they promised their mother), and neither is Big Floyd vs. Little Floyd, for reasons Steward said should have been obvious to everyone. You don’t have to be Nostradamus or Karnac the Magnificent to have anticipated that De La Hoya would pick just this juncture in his career to continue his tradition of changing trainers with the regularity with which he changes his underwear. Freddie Roach thus inherits the plum gig as De La Hoya’s chief second.

    That, too, was something that Steward, who already has been enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his formidable body of work as a trainer, had foreseen with unmistakable clarity.

    “I never, never, never thought that fight would take place with Floyd Sr. in Oscar’s corner,” said Steward, who also has taken a turn through the revolving door of De La Hoya trainers. “I knew that somehow, some way, Floyd Sr.’s ego would get in the way.”

    Big Floyd, the self-proclaimed “best trainer in the world,” probably hastened his inevitable departure when he went public with his demands that De La Hoya pony up $2 million to retain his services, and he had to agree to do so pretty damn quick.

    “I don’t necessarily believe that what Floyd Sr. was asking for was out of line,” said Steward, who projects that De La Hoya’s take, if all the rosy PPV projections are met, might approach $40 million. “Now, whether Floyd Sr. is worth that is something we could debate all day.

    “If I were Oscar, there’s no way I could have had Floyd Sr. work with me for this fight. By issuing deadlines and ultimatums, he punk’d Oscar. Floyd Sr. was stupid to do what he did. He more or less forced Oscar to let him go. It was almost like he was looking for a way not to remain with Oscar. I mean, he had to know that Oscar would never submit to that kind of coercion.

    “Personally, I think Floyd Sr. did Oscar a big favor by opening his mouth. In my opinion, he never helped Oscar improve. Oscar was already a superstar and a multimillion-dollar performer when Floyd Sr. got involved. It wasn’t like Floyd Sr. made Oscar.

    “It was different when I got Lennox (Lewis) and the Klitschkos because they were down, coming off knockout losses. They understood that I could make the difference between winning and losing in some instances, so we developed a stronger bond.”

    And Steward’s thoughts on Roach, who is best known for his association with James Toney and Manny Pacquiao?

    “Golden Boy (Promotions) does a lot of business with Freddie Roach,” Steward said. “I always expected Oscar to hire Freddie, eventually.

    “I think the trainer’s role for this fight will be very important, more so for Oscar than for Floyd Jr. Oscar can fight different ways, but his strategy has to be laid out precisely. He’s fighting someone who’s really at the top of his game. I know people are saying Oscar’s the naturally bigger man here, but he’s never been a particularly physical fighter. Even at 154 pounds, Floyd Jr. is as physically strong as Oscar and maybe even better suited for any rough stuff.

    “So Oscar has to fight the perfect tactical fight, and this is where Freddie can come up big. He’s never really had this kind of a platform before, not really. I think he’ll be absolutely focused to do the best job he can do to get Oscar ready. He’ll put his heart and soul into this fight.

    “With Floyd Sr., Oscar would always have had to be concerned about his trainer’s true loyalties. Even when he demanded the $2 million, Floyd Sr. said, `Well, I got to be paid well because I’m going against my own flesh and blood.’ You think Oscar needs that kind of distraction going into camp? I believe Oscar always had his doubts about Floyd Sr., and all this mess only confirmed that.”

    I mentioned to Manny that Roach has had his share of success with such high-profile fighters as James Toney and Manny Pacquiao.

    “James Toney, you know he’s going to do what he wants to do, regardless,” Steward said. “And Pacquiao is this hyper kid who goes out and just throws punches. That’s who he is. He’ll run over old, slow fighters because he’s so high-energy. But the problems he had against (Juan Manuel) Marquez, other than those first-round knockdowns, showed he still has weaknesses that need to be corrected.”

    Pacquiao battled Marquez to a draw on May 5, 2004, despite having floored Marquez three times in the first round.

    Steward always has been candid, sometimes to a fault. In the rest of a revealing, hour-long interview, the onetime impresario of Detroit’s fabled Kronk Gym addressed several topics, from the paucity of knowledgeable trainers to the absence of loyalty in boxing today to his irritation with specialized coaches. He also has pertinent thoughts about ego, its good and bad sides, and his sometimes turbulent associations with, among others, Evander Holyfield and De La Hoya.

    “I hate to say this, but there are no real trainers any more, no teachers of the sport,” Steward said. “I manage fighters and people ask why I still train them, too. I say that it’s because I have money invested in these guys, and the only way I can protect my investment is to go to the gym with them every day.

    “There was a time in the glory days of Kronk that I could go off to attend to contracts and business matters because I knew I could entrust my fighters to some of my other trainers, guys like Luther Burgess,” Steward said. “They’re mostly dead now. Gone.

    “I had Vivian Harris, who wanted somebody else to train him. I was unbelievably embarrassed when he and some of my other guys got they asses beat. Then I realized the only one I spent time actually training was Wladimir. So this past year I went back to training more.

    “I’m almost 63, the old guy now. I really feel like I’m almost the last of my kind. It’s sad.”

    What about the absence of loyalty?

    “You look at the guys years ago who were truly great, they didn’t change trainers all the time,” Steward said. “Joe Louis stayed with Jack Blackburn until Blackburn died. Rocky Marciano stayed with Charley Goldman. Sugar Ray Robinson stayed with George Gainford. Muhammad Ali stayed with Angelo Dundee.

    “I remember after Holyfield got his title back (from Riddick Bowe). He was making, like, $15 million a fight and he wanted to give me 4 percent. I said, `You know, Evander, that’s not the deal we made.’ And another guy in his entourage says, `Anybody can hand Evander a towel and a water bottle.’ That’s all some of those guys thought a trainer was supposed to do.

    “Evander obviously felt that since he was the champ again, he could name a fee and tell me to take it or leave it. His final comment to me was, `Why don’t you go out and make another heavyweight champion?’

    “I didn’t get angry and make a fuss. My attitude was, `All right, let’s part as friends. You can keep your money and I’ll keep my knowledge.’ I’m not bitter about the way it ended. Stuff happens. But just because you forgive doesn’t mean you forget.

    “When Evander brought Don Turner in to train him, he asked if Don could fix cuts. Don said yeah. So Evander called (cutman) Ace Marotta, who’d been with him so long, and told him he didn’t need him any more. He didn’t want to pay Marotta that $25,000. So what happens? He gets a small cut which trickled and bled and bothered him the whole fight.”

    As for ego, well, Steward said anyone who has enjoyed any sort of success has it. But how much that ego is put on display is what differentiates an internally confident person from the more extroverted sort.

    “I have an ego,” Steward said. “My ego is to be the best at what I do. But you can’t go around blowing your own horn.

    “I had probably one of the best years of my life in 2006. I didn’t lose a fight. Not one. Wladimir did great, and I brought (Kermit) Cintron back from nowhere to win the (vacant IBF welterweight) title, with Johnathan Banks getting off the floor twice to knock out (Eliseo) Castillo. But I didn’t holler or brag about any of that.

    “I was at the Top Rank Gym a couple of weeks ago with Andy Lee and Banks and somebody came up and said, `Mr. Steward, you sit here for two hours and I never hear you talk about yourself.’ Meanwhile, Floyd Jr. is sitting on the ring apron telling some TV guy how great he is. But that’s the nature of the man. He can’t change.”

    Nor is Steward a big fan of the fairly recent concept of a fighter bringing in specialized coaches to “assist” his primary trainer.

    “Look at Bernard Hopkins,” Steward said. “He’s, like, `This is my conditioning guy, this is my nutrition guy, this is my flexibility guy, this in the guy who takes me running.’ Everybody wants to be in charge, and they all think they are.

    “I interviewed Fernando Vargas before his fight with Oscar and he talked for a half-hour about all the coaches he’d hired. I just listened and when he was finished I said, `Do you actually box any more, or don’t you have the time?’

    “One of the first fighters to go that route was Evander. I was in Las Vegas before Evander’s second fight with Bowe _ the one he won _ and I got to talking with Georgie Benton (Holyfield’s first pro trainer) in a bar. I told Georgie I was having trouble getting Evander to spar, and he said he had had the same problem once Evander started bringing in all these different coaches.

    “I told Georgie I only got Evander to run one time, and even then I had to run with him. We went maybe three miles, and he was griping every step of the way. He said, `Me and Tim (conditioning coach Tim Hallmark) have to do our routine on the machines,’ after which he had to meet with his nutritionist, his agility coach and what have you.

    “Georgie said, `Yeah, I knew all that other crap was just a waste, but what could I do? When I had Evander, he set the rules and I had to go along or else.’

    “For the second Bowe fight, Evander sparred 36 rounds. That’s it. I had to put those damn pads on every day and simulate Bowe’s movements because Evander wanted to do all that other stuff instead. No wonder me and him had such big arguments.”

    Steward’s tenure with De La Hoya was also brief, but he said it was, for the most part, a pleasant experience.

    “I respect Oscar, and I think he can beat Mayweather,” Steward said. “Oscar has a tremendous amount of talent, and he’s a gentleman, too. He was always very fair with me, financially.”

    So where did Steward’s relationship with De La Hoya go awry?

    “I was brought in after Oscar’s controversial win over Pernell Whitaker,” Steward recalled. “Robert Alcazar (De La Hoya’s first trainer) was still around. I had the option of keeping Alcazar around or letting him go. I’m a firm believer in loyalty, and Alcazar had been loyal to Oscar, so I said what the hell, he could stay.

    “As it turned out, Oscar’s father (Joel De La Hoya) wanted somebody in training camp he could control. Alcazar was that person. He was a spy, basically.

    “Oscar and I had a good relationship, but there was too much friction from the outside. Finally, I just told him, `Your daddy is your daddy. It’s best that I move on.’ But we had a great experience in the few fights we had together.

    “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have come in if it meant having to deal with Alcazar. I should have realized that that was a big mistake, that it couldn’t work.”

    Not that Steward hasn’t made some allowances when it comes to holdovers from a previous regime.

    “It was somewhat different when I began training Lennox,” Steward said. “Harold Knight had been with him all along, as an assistant trainer, but Harold respected me and there wasn’t as much backstabbing as there usually is in that kind of an arrangement.

    “But it’s been my experience that when you begin working with a fighter, it’s best that you start fresh.”

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    For Freddie Roach, Winning is the Payoff

    Bill Dwyre:
    For Roach, winning is the payoff
    February 13 2007


    There are 1.3 million reasons, all of them green and decorated with a picture of George Washington, for Freddie Roach to be thrilled at landing the job of training Oscar De La Hoya for his May 5 mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    But Roach is only excited about the chance to further his success in boxing, not the monetary measurement of that.

    "I'm not a money guy," says Roach, 47.

    He speaks Monday as he stands in the midst of the daily chaos that is his life and his gym. It is called the Wild Card Gymnasium, is in your basic laundry-pizza-pawnshop strip mall near Santa Monica and Vine and almost never has fewer than 50 to 60 training boxers on-site at one time, in a second-floor gym about the size of three regulation rings. The font style of the sign identifying the gym is L.A. graffiti.

    In a sport full of it, Roach is not a bling guy. The next time he asks for a limo will be the first. He drives a 3-year-old Lincoln, and neither far nor often.

    "I used to live in Mount Washington, eight miles away, but I hated the commute," he says. "So I just moved into here [the gym]. Now, I drive two minutes to Starbucks every morning to get coffee before we open up at 6. That's my job. To get the coffee."

    Longer-range, his job, for which he will be paid perhaps the biggest one-fight trainer's fee ever in the sport, is to figure out a way for the sport's only remaining superstar, De La Hoya, to beat the sport's most skilled, most fit, most cocksure boxer, Mayweather Jr.

    With less than three months before they climb into the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Roach must navigate coolly through an already triggered minefield.

    He got the job because De La Hoya's regular manager, Floyd Mayweather Sr., demanded a $2-million fee for the fight. De La Hoya and business partner Richard Schaefer countered with $500,000 up front and $500,000 if De La Hoya won. Mayweather Sr. said no thanks and will certainly be less than thrilled to know that Roach got $300,000 more with no "if-win" clause.

    That's just the money part of the minefield.

    De La Hoya and Schaefer were never certain how much they could trust Mayweather Sr.'s commitment to develop a plan that would defeat his son, even though his son hasn't spoken to him for years and mocks his father's recent statements about his knowledge of the sport and his own success in it.

    "He lost to one legend, Sugar Ray Leonard," Mayweather Jr. said in a recent story on Foxsports.com, "but his other losses were to journeymen and cab drivers."

    There has also been speculation that Mayweather Sr. set the training fee high to avoid working toward his son's demise. Roach doesn't discount that theory.

    "Blood's always going to be thicker than water," he says.

    Roach also does his best to dismiss the recent noise coming from Mayweather Sr., including a statement that Roach wasn't good enough to help De La Hoya.

    "I was mad at first," Roach says, "but then, I realized, I have the job and he doesn't."

    The Roach resume answers criticism nicely.

    The Dedham, Mass., Irishman has trained 18 world champions, including current star Manny Pacquiao. Roach learned the trade the hard way, with 54 pro fights that included 13 losses in divisions ranging from 122 to 135 pounds.

    His most memorable fight was against Bobby Chacon, on his 25th birthday. He knocked Chacon down twice in the second round, to which Chacon responded: "Is that all you've got?" It apparently was. Chacon won a close split decision and a newspaper headline the next day read: "Roach Has a Birthday, Chacon Gets the Gift."

    Roach trembles slightly, a result of Parkinson's disease. He controls that with medicine, remains fit and, when necessary, tough.

    A few years ago, in a bar, he was allegedly provoked enough to end a conversation with one punch.

    Eventually, the punchee sued and Roach's lawyer instructed him to skip his medicine before their day in court. That day, Roach took the stand, shaking badly. The judge took one look and dismissed the case.

    Roach resembles a high school algebra teacher who forgot to shave. He speaks softly, squints through his glasses and is known for selling that demeanor to his fighters.

    "The first thing I tell them in the corner," he says, "is to breathe, to calm down."

    He is direct, never evasive, honest to a fault.

    Once asked for a quick assessment of a fight moments after its conclusion, Roach pointed to his fighter's opponent and said, "The other guy won." Minutes later, the judges gave it to Roach's fighter.

    He says that De La Hoya is the bigger, stronger fighter and he will use that to their advantage. He also says that he has noticed De La Hoya occasionally fading in the ninth or 10th round.

    "Being tired is not a good excuse for losing," Roach says.

    He calls Mayweather Jr. an "excellent fighter who is not perfect, not complete and not a big puncher." He says Mayweather has used his quick feet to hide his flaws for years.

    The most Roach ever made as a fighter was $13,000 for the Chacon fight. That alone should make his upcoming $1.3-million payday sweet.

    But instead, Roach frets about the other fighters he has had to temporarily abandon, four of whom, including Pacquiao, will fight for world titles without him.

    "That's why, if we don't win," he says, "this all sucks."

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Hey, I was going to eat lunch at my usual spot in Union Station, and guess what I walked into? An ODLH-PBF press conference!!!

    I never realized how routine, ritualistic and dull those things were. You members of the working press have my sympathies.

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    DC

    The last one I actually attended was at Universal Studios in LA On Halloween in 1997.

    My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we stopped in LA on our trip back from Hawaii. Decided to do Universal Studios on Halloween and when walking by one of the stage sets, they had a sign for a press conference for Holyfield Moorer II.

    The Mrss. let me attend (it was to be a sports free Honeymoon and lo and behold on the second to last day of our "getting away form it all")

    Other than Frankenstein, the Wolfman and Dracula posing with Evander and Micheal, it was pretty.......yawn.

    Upon trying to get Evander's autograph, Security cut everyone off.

    I did get my pic taken with Tim Hallmark though.

    Oh the memories of my Honeymoon.

    Hawk

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    The big moment in this was when PBF took of his shirt while ODLH was making his remarks, jumped in front of him and started flexing for the cameras.

    I was really hoping someone would get punched, but no soap.

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    I was hoping someone would

    punch the Werewolf.

    But alas, I left dissapointed as well.

    Hawk

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Did anyone catch Crossing Jorda a week or two ago? Jordan had to investigate a boxer's murder. He had brain damage "just like the Quarry brothers and Freddie Roach."

    Wonder if Roach saw that episode?

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions




    I read press tour was in Philly today. So i ran down and attended. I'm constantly amazed a dope like me can just walk in and sit near the front row and nobody says anything.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions



    notice the bling. PBF took it off and handed it to one of his guys later on.
    Last edited by Phillyfan; 02-22-2007 at 12:23 AM.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions


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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions


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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions


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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions


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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions


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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions




    Ring fighter of the year.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    First Floyds manager spoke. He basically said DLH made a big mistake agreeing to the fight. Then Nigel Collins presented Floyd with the RING fighter of the year award. The belt is beautiful in person, better than the pictures. Floyd spoke and basically said a fighter like him comes along once in a lifetime. As a baby he was in the gym and he is the best p4p fighter today and one of the greatest of all time. Freddie Roach spoke for a minute. he said it was going to get oscar in the best shape of his lfe. Bernard spoke, at length, and predicted an oscar win. He said floyd couldn't sell out stadiums, even in his home town. Floyds people yelled back that either did hopkins. Floyd got up and mocked hopkins a few times.Oscar got up and only spoke for a minute saying he was going to give floyd a beating. he then finished in spanish.
    I got a chance to say hello to freddie roach. offered to show him around philly but they were leaving on the train to DC right away. I said hopefully I would see him in LA again in october.
    I like floyd. sure he's cocky, but that comes with the territory. He's great with fans and makes me laugh with most of his antics. I love watching him fight and think he is the best P4P. He will probably be one of those fighters thats appreciated more when they're gone.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Personaly I can't stand Floyd, never liked the guy. I really hope he gets his ass handed to him. I especially dislike the guy after seeing the Video of the press confrence @ Maxboxing. As a fighter you can't deny his talent, IMO he is the best right now, as a person he's a Douche. Just my opinion.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Floyd signed autographs on the way in and stayed afterwards to sign for fans. He has always taken time out to sign whenever I've seen him, in atlantic city or vegas. I've never seen him be rude or anything other than just a fun loving kid. he continually takes garbage from reporters such as larry merchant who criticize him after every fight. I've heard criticism such as he doesn't draw fans to he doesn't knock enough people out. I think he's proven himself in the ring, where it counts. he's not a suit and tie type of businessman nor does he act like a street punk like judah. he's doing it his way, he's the best pound for pound, and he looks like he is having fun doing it. sure he hypes himself, which boxer doesn't?

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    Well I'm glad he's signing stuff for fans. I saw him reject quite a few fans in Vegas a while back. Wasn't even nice about it, just blew them off as if they didn't exist. And this was close to 4 years agao, his ego was already too much.

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    Re: De La Hoya-Mayweather Pre-Fight Press & Predictions

    I'm getting a little tired of the "animosity" angle too. They have an 11 city tour planned together. Are they going to trade insults in every city? Its a multi million dollar fight. Its business. If my worst enemy gave me a couple million dollars, guess what, he's now my best friend. so i wish they would stop acting like its personal.

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    Philly

    Manny Pac won the RIng fighter of the year for 2006.

    Was Nigel giving him the RING Championship belt for the Welterweight division?

    Just trying to figure out if I got an "error" mag with my Apr 2007 issue.

    Hawk

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