A number of big hitters have entered the arms race to train Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya including Jack Mosley and a double top-secret trainer I’ll mention at the bottom of this article.
Mosley, who is preparing his son Sugarfor a welterweight match against Luis Collazo, dropped his name into the De La Hoya derby. De La Hoya will be fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5 at the MGM Grand.
“I helped Shane fight De La Hoya twice and I prepared him to beat Fernando Vargas. I think I deserve a little credit,” said Mosley, who is back training his son after a short respite following the first loss to Winky Wright. “I know how Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights and we’ve prepared for him should we fight him.”
Mosley says with him in De La Hoya’s corner there would be numerous benefits for the East Los Angeles prizefighter.
“Not only would Oscar have me in his corner but Shane as well,” Mosley said. “Shane could also help him prepare for Mayweather’s style.”
Mosley said the quickness of Floyd Jr. can be neutralized by working on De La Hoya’s methods.
“Oscar still has some of the quickest hands in the business. He just needs to work on his feet quickness and I can help him with that,” Mosley said. “Money isn’t that big an issue. All I want is what they think is reasonable.”
Of course Floyd Mayweather Sr. is the prime candidate for the position to continue training De La Hoya and he’s voiced his request to be paid more for this fight because of the increase in financial rewards the matching will bring and because it is his own son he would be opposing.
Another name that has popped up numerous times is Freddie Roach whose success with Manny Pacquiao and James Toney has elevated him to near demigod status. The Hollywood-based trainer has been noncommittal but hasn’t ruled the potential merging out of the question.
One final name has been dropped and that is Mexico City’s famed boxing guru Ignacio Beristain who trains Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez. Now that his fighter works for Golden Boy he’s entered the trainer arms race and could be a very viable option says one source.
Right now there are four highly capable trainers opting for the position of De La Hoya’s guru for the biggest fight of his career.
Richard Schaeffer, CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, said De La Hoya is expected to make his selection next week.
“The decision is his and his alone,” Schaeffer said.
Where’s Librado Andrade
Librado Andrade speaks both English and Spanish eloquently, has a trainer considered one of the best in the sport, and to boot, Andrade is ranked number one by the WBC.
So why can’t he get any respect?
In the western section of Las Vegas, close to the Red Rock Casino, Andrade works daily inside Wayne McCullough’s ring-size gym that takes up the whole garage of his brand new home.
McCullough built a career with superb conditioning and still commands total respect from the boxing world for his never-say-die attitude inside the ropes. As a trainer he’s refined both Andrade and his younger brother Enrique Ornelas into the same type of fighting machine he built his career on.
‘They’re both good listeners,” McCullough says. “Whatever I tell them to do they don’t even hesitate.”
Andrade had an opportunity to fight Mikkel Kessler for the WBC title but was offered step-aside money to let the Dane fight Germany’s Markus Beyer. The lanky Andrade from California eagerly accepted the large bundle of money.
“I got more money to not fight than I had ever made fighting,” confessed Andrade, who moved to Las Vegas from La Habra, California and is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. “I was happy.”
But the glee has rubbed off. While other super middleweights are grabbing the limelight like Joe Calzaghe, Kessler, and Jeff Lacy, the Mexican super middleweight has been resigned to keeping sharp while sparring with McCullough.
“They’re (Andrade and Ornelas) both pretty strong,” said McCullough, who would probably face a heavyweight if given the opportunity. “I can really feel their punches even though they’re holding back.”
It’s extremely difficult to secure sparring for the hard-hitting Andrade and his brother. They get tired of sparring with each other. But few other boxers are willing to step in a sparring session for free against the Blast Brothers.
“They say they’re coming back and we never see them again,” McCullough says.
In his last boxing contest Andrade blasted Richard “The Alien” Grant into orbit in one and four opponents before that. Few are able to withstand the quick fisted boxer who was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. The six-feet, two-inch super middleweight has seemingly run out of opponents.
Now managed by Al Haymon, the Andrade team is banking on the elite boxing manager to open the doors to the mega-fight kingdom.
“I don’t know why it’s taken so long but I look at other fighters like Edwin Valero who trained at my gym and it gives me hope,” said Andrade, who saw Valero overcome a national medical ban for an injury sustained long ago. He recently captured the lightweight world title and defended it for the first time with a first round knockout in the first round. “He’s my hero.”
Sam Peter beats James Toney
In their second match in four months Samuel Peter proved that fighting at a lower weight makes a difference, even if you’re a heavyweight.
Peter, who arrived eight pounds under his previous weight of last September, won a unanimous decision over James Toney who arrived one pound heavier. The Nigerian heavyweight fired more punches and appeared more nimble than his first encounter with Toney.
Toney suffered a knockdown in the first round when a Peter left jab caught him off-balance and he toppled to the floor. Though unhurt, it proved that his weight has made him top-heavy despite the protein diet provided by Tae Bo expert Billy Blanks.
Since 2001, whenever Toney fought below 220 pounds he knocked out the opposition with the exception of Vassiliy Jirov who barely escaped on his feet. Any time he fought above 220 the fight ended in a decision.
Toney needs to be able to move quickly on his feet and fire more punches. He can’t do that against the elite heavyweights when he weighs more than 220. Even against the non-elite heavyweights he can beat them handily, but the knockouts disappear.
For me it’s clear, if Toney fights below 220 he can beat any heavyweight in the world. Above 220 it’s a 50/50 shot.
Even Muhammad Ali, who is five inches taller at 6-3, fought at most in the 220-pound range. Smokin’ Joe Frazier, who is more similar in body style to Toney, fought regularly at 209 to 215 pounds. When he fought George Foreman in their second encounter Frazier weighed 224 and got smoked.
Weight plays an important factor, even for heavyweights.
“You wouldn’t run a marathon with 18 extra pounds on your back,” said one boxing trainer. “Boxing is like a marathon, you need to have stamina.”
Mendy and Hanshaw result
The super middleweight tournament organized by Showtime and Gary Shaw Productions finally ended last weekend with a draw between France’s Jean Paul Mendy and America’s Anthony Hanshaw.
Though Showtime commentators felt Hanshaw was the definite victor, it sure didn’t seem that way when you turn off the sound. Mendy was throwing some bullets at his opponent who tired after the fifth round.
It was a great fight and both were dogged in their pursuit of victory.
Another fight would be very entertaining that’s for sure.
Fights on television
Thurs. Versus, 6 p.m., Kid Diamond (23-1-1) vs. Antonio Pitalua (41-3).
Fri. ESPN2, 7 p.m., Cornelius Bundrage (24-2) vs. Chris Smith (20-3-1).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Tomas Villa (16-5-3) vs. Trinidad Mendoza (21-12-2).
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?