Tuesday, January 30, 2007

De La Hoya picks Freddie Roach to train him for Mayweather fight

After deciding against using the father of his opponent, Oscar goes with former trainer of flyweight champ Pacquiao.

Oscar De La Hoya has selected Freddie Roach to train him for his May 5 super-welterweight title fight against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., the boxer announced Tuesday.

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

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 (38-4, 30 knockouts), the World Boxing Council junior-middleweight champion, announced last week he would not retain trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. In addition to saying he was uncomfortable with having his opponent's father training him — Mayweather Jr. is 37-0 with 24 KOs — De La Hoya learned the elder Mayweather wanted a staggering $2 million for the fight, which will be fought at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

There is complexity in selecting Roach too.

The trainer was believed to be unavailable because of Pacquiao's preparation for an April 28 bout in Macau, China. De La Hoya has said he will do the extent of his training for the Mayweather Jr. fight in Puerto Rico.

De La Hoya and Roach were to discuss the specifics of their deal in a Tuesday morning telephone conference call.

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