Monday, March 26, 2007

De La Hoya Camp Update!

By Brad Cooney

Fightnews just caught up with Freddie Roach and got an exclusive update on Oscar De La Hoya's training camp in Puerto Rico. Roach gives us an in depth look at how camp is progressing thus far, and he also informed Fightnews that there is a very real possibility that he will be in San Antonio for Pacquiao's fight against Solis.

Freddie, how is Oscar's camp going thus far?

Oscar is going great, he's working every day, six days a week. We run at 5:30 in the morning, and we train from 6PM until 8:30PM at Wilfredo Gomez's gym, a beautiful gym. We started sparring a couple days ago, we got two guys from Philadelphia that I am impressed with. I am working with Oscar on strategy, and we are working the mits, and everything is good right now.

What have you learned about Oscar that you didn't know before you started to work with him?

Oscar has a great work ethic, he trains hard and he tells me that I am the boss, and that has happened. Oscar works very hard, we are working on his right hand. Oscar has a good right hand, but he doesn't have the confidence, so were working on it to get his confidence up.

Mayweather has done a lot of talking, how has that resonated with Oscar?

It makes winning this fight more enjoyable (laughs). We know that it's a tough fight, we have two real fast sparring partners for the fight, one is 9-0, and they are doing great. We are watching plenty of film of Mayweather, and to be honest, I am tired of watching him (laughs). Oscar has a nutritionist that cooks for him every day. Oscar left the gym yesterday at 156lbs.

Floyd will use his speed and agility, he's a smart fighter. Do you see this fight as a battle of game plans, and not a battle of ability?

Yes, definitely. Both guys have a lot of ability, they wouldn't be where they are at without that. It's going to be who can pull of the game plan. Oscar has speed also, and he has a quick left hand. I think we have a better jab than Mayweather does, and we are going to use it.

How has De La Hoya been received in Puerto Rico?

Great, we have a three-bedroom condo that we stay in, and Oscar lives about 10 minutes away. There's not a lot to do during the daytime, there is downtime. I brought a couple of books, and I study Mayweather film every day. We have a game plan, Mayweather is a great fighter, but he makes mistakes, and we will take advantage of that.

Is Oscar ahead of where you want him at thus far in camp?

He's a little ahead of track right now, his weight is good, and the thing is we are going to keep doing what were doing. Conditioning is important, and we'll have to be in great shape to keep up with this guy. Mayweather is going to be in good shape, and we know it. We are looking good, we started sparring, and I am really happy where Oscar is at right now.

How has the media been down there, have you been cramped at all by them?

We are doing OK with that. Oscar has some interviews with Spanish speaking media sometimes, I don't know what they are saying though (laughs). We are working very well with the media, and they respect me when I tell them to turn cameras off.

You mentioned sparring partners before, will Shane Mosley be coming down to help out?

Yes, Shane will be here in April. The younger guys that are already here are good because they are hungry. I told these guys that the first one to knock De La Hoya down, gets a $1000 bonus.

When do you plan on breaking camp, and heading back to America?

We have been here for two weeks, starting our third week. We will be back in America seven days before the fight.

Do you think Oscar will stop Mayweather?

I do, I think if he fights the right fight he will stop him. I think we have a big advantage in strength, and were working on other things in the ring to deal with Mayweather's speed. Oscar needs to be more physical than normal, and I am a more aggressive trainer, so we just need to be more offensive minded.

Will you use the aggressive style to get into Mayweather's head?

Yes, but it has to be a smart aggressive. It can't be a dumb aggressive, I watched Diego Corrales fight, and he just came in aggressive and took a lot of punches. We won't do that, we will fight smart.

Moving on to Pacquiao, have you talked to Manny lately?

Yes, I talked to Manny last night. Manny asked me if I could come to San Antonio to work his corner for the Solis fight. I told him that I would talk to Oscar about that tomorrow, I will only miss one day if I do, and I told Manny that I would do my best to be there. I think Manny will do fine against Solis. Anybody that decides to trade with Manny doesn't do very well, so we'll see what happens. Manny was 137lbs so weight will be no problem for him to make, as long as he stays away from the distractions. You know what? It seems Manny creates distractions, and he seems to like them, but he doesn't seem to get bothered by them in the ring, at least not yet.

You mentioned that you will talk to Oscar about letting you train Manny in San Antonio, do you think that will be any problem?

I think that it will be no problem because I can fly on Friday night, work his corner Saturday night, and fly back to Puerto Rico Sunday morning. I will ask Oscar to give me a yes or a no answer, go with what his gut tells him, I think it will be ok. I can give Oscar that day off, because sometimes it's better to give a guy a day off anyway, Oscar trains very hard.

Do you have any closing thoughts for the fans?

Oscar is pretty popular in the Philippines, and it looks like he will be in the Philippines in Cebu at Rey Bautista's fight against Ponce De Leon at the World Cup fight. I told Oscar how beautiful the Philippines is, and how great the fans are there, and how big he is there. Oscar is looking forward to coming to the Philippines.

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