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Dela Hoya: “If Manny wants to brawl, I am ready”

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Inside the De La Hoya camp!

Story by Edgar Gonzales
Photos by “Big” Joe Miranda

Last week six division and 10-time world champion Oscar de la Hoya hosted an open media workout at his Big Bear, California training camp where he is preparing for his December 6th, 2008 fight against Ring Magazine’s NO. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Fightnews traveled to high altitudes into thinner air to witness first hand how high the hype has been turned up, with three weeks to go for the “Dream Match.” De La Hoya-Pacquiao is the biggest fight in the eyes of the public since De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year.

“It’s going to be an explosive fight,” said the ‘Golden Boy.’ “If Manny wants to brawl, I am ready. I love to fight inside.

“My condition is great. Nacho has kept me in shape. I didn’t realize how much more power I could gain. I have learned to punch from different angles. I have learned to use my jab more often.”

De La Hoya did look thin and lean. It’s been six years since Oscar has trained in the high mountains of Big Bear, since he moving to Puerto Rico. De La Hoya said he weighed 145 pounds, which many critics disbelieved he would ever weigh again.

Oscar is the taller fighter, at 5 feet 10 ½ inches, and has fought all the way up to 160 pounds. Pacquiao, at 5-6 ½, started his career at 106 in 1995, and the highest weight he has fought at was 134 in June when he demolished David Diaz with a ninth round knockout.

“We have been working very hard and we’re seeing the results,” stated De La Hoya’s new trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain. “Oscar has been sparring at 145 without any complications, the weight is no longer a problem.”

When asked how difficult it is to train the De La Hoya for the first time, Beristain answered, “I love training new people because they listen. You tell them to do something and they strive to do their best.”

Beristain will be the sixth trainer to prepare De La Hoya for a fight in his career, but Beristain is not alone. Angelo Dundee, the man you saw in Muhammad Ali’s corner for the majority of his career, is 87 now and says he is with De La Hoya as an advisor.

Fightnews had the opportunity to talk to Richard Schaeffer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions about Oscar’s training.

“Oscar is very excited with the results of his training,” said Schaeffer. “He is learning a lot from Beristain, much more than from Mayweather, Sr.”.

When asked his thoughts about Freddie Roach’s remarks, calling Oscar old and his predictions of Manny winning by KO, he remarked, “I think Freddie shouldn’t focus so much on Oscar. I never seen Freddy being like this.

“Freddie is just all talk, history is going repeat itself, Freddie was wrong with Israel Vazquez, he has been wrong with Hopkins and he will be wrong against Oscar De La Hoya.”

Carlos Baldomir was also training in Oscar’s training camp as he prepares for his upcoming bout with Jackson Bonsu on December 20th. The Argentinean also gave us his thoughts about the Dream Match.

“It’s going to be a good fight, its not going to be as easy as how people are saying, Oscar is in great shape.”

Comedian George Lopez was also on hand

“I can’t wait for this fight, I have seen Oscar train and it’s going to be good, you have two great boxers from two different cultures who many people look up to and neither one is going to back down.”

The Mexican American comedian laced-up the gloves and exchanged a few punches with De La Hoya—it as the left body shot that sent Lopez to the canvas.

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SOURCE: Fightnews.com, 11-dlhcamp.htm

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Author: rbvergara

Born and raised in the Philippines. Moved to California on April 15, 1986 two months after Marcos was overthrown. Have been building a new life and stronger roots in Southern California since then.

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