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[Previous entry: "Marcus Pernell Back on the Road After Surgery"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Second Homecoming for Uncrowned Champ, Miranda, on March 3rd!"]

01/30/2007 Archived Entry: "And (the) Oscar Goes to..."

And (the) Oscar Goes to...

RitaOscarrrr (67k image)

Rita Figeroa with Oscar De La Hoya

By Rita "La Guerra" Figueroa
WIBA Americas Lightweight Title holder

Photo by Jorge Bravo

IN the wake of controversy surrounding Floyd Mayweather's $2 million demand to train Oscar De La Hoya to fight his son, a teleconference was called to announce De La Hoya's new trainer.

De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KO's) will be defending his World Boxing Council Light Middleweight Title against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (37-0, 24 KO's) at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 5th.

And the winner of the Oscar sweepstakes is...Freddie Roach!

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, first spoke. He said, "This was not an easy decision for Oscar, which is why it has taken this long." He continued, "Two and a half weeks ago, an offer was made to Mayweather Sr, and he made comments at the time that included that at the end of the day, Floyd will still be his son."

There were comments by both Richard and Oscar stating that there is hope that the Mayweathers would come closer due to this decision, and neither Oscar or Richard wanted anything to do with fueling the fire between the two Mayweathers.

Oscar said, "This was a very thoughtful decision. I have already started conditioning training to get ready for Freddie Roach in late Feb or early March."

Freddie Roach stated his appreciatetion to Oscar for the opportunity and happy to be a part of it.

"Winning is what counts and I feel that the game plan will be great for Oscar and myself and you will see the best Oscar when he fights Mayweather," said Roach. "We're going to do everything to win the fight and that is the bottom line."

There were questions and answers that included whether Mayweather would be back as Oscars trainer after this fight, and Oscar stated he wasn't even sure he would be fighting after this fight.

Oscar stated that Mayweather has been told and he called Mayweather to explain in detail why the decision was made. He stated that Mayweather is a good guy, but that he comes across to the public different than he really is. Oscar also added that he just didn't feel comfortable with Mayweather training him against his son, and when it comes down to it - Oscar wants to win this fight.

Freddie stated that this is the highlight of his career. It is a must win in his mind, and that is what they are going to do.

Freddie stated that the situation with Manny Pacquiao--the WBC Super Featherweight Champion he trains--was that he told Freddie that he should take the job, and if Manny does fight within the time period, he was very comfortable with Freddie's assistant (Justin) training him and he had no problem with it.

In fact, Pacquiao congratulated Freddie. Freddie will train Pacquiao until he leaves for Puerto Rico (late Feb, early March), at which time Justin will be in charge of Manny's training.

Oscar was asked if he was worried about making such a change before such a big fight. De La Hoya said that he contunies to learn as a fighter and feels he will adjust very quickly. Thus, it is not a concern whatsoever and when he is in the ring, ultimately he has to be in the best shape of his life and he has already started.

Asked if Oscar thought Mayweather would stay neutral, he stated that ultmately that is his son, and he would be happy if Mayweather Sr even went to train Floyd. If he trains him, good for him. Sr is so outspoken, he can;t help but say things.

The money was not the issue- Oscar's thinking was - was Mayweather passionate about going for the knockout? What if the Mayweather family called and asked him not to do it? Oscar wanted no distractions. This is the fight of his life. The $2 million came up several months ago, and did not impact the decision. The decision was about feeling comfortable and being on the same page with the trainer.

Oscar stated he felt Floyd's speed will be neutralized. He will step in and out of the ring as a World Champion. This is the perfect moment to have the perfect fight he has been waiting for. It's on. The family is on notice: he is in fight mode.

This is the fight that one dreams about--and trains for.

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