x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

De La Hoya chooses Mexican as new trainer

The veteran boxing trainer Nacho Beristain will prepare Oscar De La Hoya for his next fight against Filipino great Manny Pacquiao on Dec 6, the "Golden Boy" has confirmed.

LAS VEGAS // The veteran boxing trainer Nacho Beristain will prepare Oscar De La Hoya for his next fight against Filipino great Manny Pacquiao on Dec 6, the "Golden Boy" has confirmed. De La Hoya went in search of a new trainer three weeks ago after Floyd Mayweather Sr, his longtime cornerman, agreed to train Ricky Hatton for his bout against Paulie Malignaggi on Nov 22. Mayweather accepted the job before De La Hoya finalised his 147-pound fight at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas against Pacquiao, considered by many as not only the best fighter in his weight class but in the sport itself. Beristain is a Boxing Hall of Famer who trained Juan Manuel Marquez for both of his acclaimed bouts against Pacquiao over the past four years.

He also trains Rafael Marquez, Juan Manuel's brother and a talented super bantamweight whose three thrill-packed fights with Israel Vázquez comprise one the best rivalries in recent boxing history. "Nacho Beristain is a great trainer who I have respected for many years, and I'm honoured to have him in my corner," De La Hoya said. "Considering that he prepared Juan Manuel Marquez for two fights against Manny Pacquiao, he knows him very well. I'm confident that with Nacho's game plan and my execution, we'll be victorious on Dec 6."

It will be De La Hoya's third trainer in as many fights. He worked with Freddie Roach in his split-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in May 2007, and Mayweather Sr returned to his corner for his victory over Steve Forbes last May. Roach is Pacquiao's longtime trainer, and his public pronouncements about the Filipino star's superiority convinced De La Hoya to make the fight, which is certain to be the sport's most lucrative bout this year.

The elder Mayweather has been De La Hoya's trainer since 2000, except for the Golden Boy's fight against his son. De La Hoya considered sharing Mayweather Sr with Hatton, who fights for his Golden Boy Promotions company, if both fighters could hold training camp in the same location. But De La Hoya instead chose Beristain, who has trained a long line of Mexican champions, including Ricardo Lopez, Gilberto Roman, Daniel Zaragoza and Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez.

"Oscar De La Hoya is one of the premier fighters of this era, and I am excited about working with him for this very important fight," Beristain said. "I already have a plan in mind for beating Pacquiao, and I know Oscar will do whatever it takes to carry that plan through on fight night." De La Hoya had long planned to end his boxing career with his final fight of 2008. But after he failed to replace the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr with a suitable opponent for a proposed bout in September, he has all but confirmed his fight with Pacquiao will not be his last.

*AP