By Mark Vester
The minute Floyd Mayweather Sr. signed on as the new trainer for Ricky Hatton, people sensed trouble with his ability to train Oscar De La Hoya for the fight with Manny Paquiao. De La Hoya and Hatton are fighting only a few weeks apart from each other and De La Hoya has never been very fond of sharing trainers. Hatton faces IBF junior welterweight champ Paulie Malignaggi on November 22 in Las Vegas and De La Hoya fights Pacquiao two-weeks later on December 6.
Speaking with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, De La Hoya said that he doesn't blame Mayweather Sr. for taking the Hatton gig, he blames himself. Mayweather Sr. said in more than one interview over the last few weeks that De La Hoya had not contacted him in weeks, so he signed on with Hatton in order to keep make a living so he put food on the table.
“Floyd Sr. has obligations with Ricky Hatton,” De La Hoya said. “Am I disappointed? Absolutely, I’m very disappointed. I respect Floyd Sr. very much. I respect him as a person and as a trainer. Obviously, the door is always wide open for Floyd Sr., because I truly feel that Floyd Sr. can take me, after every single fight, to a whole new level.”
“I blame myself for not letting people know if I was going to fight. He had already made commitments and he had already signed contracts with Hatton before I (decided to fight). I don’t blame him for doing that, because he has to make a living. I would put the blame on me.”
This is not the first time that De La Hoya and Mayweather Sr. went their separate ways. Mayweather Sr. trained De La Hoya for several years before the two parted over money a few months prior to last May's record breaking fight with Mayweather's son, Floyd Mayweather Jr. The elder Floyd wanted $2 million dollars to train De La Hoya for the fight with his son, a sum that Oscar was not willing to pay. Instead De La Hoya hired Freddie Roach. De La Hoya and Mayweather Sr. reunited for Oscar May return againt Steve Forbes and it was agreed upon, at verbally, that Mayweather Sr. would train him for remainder of 2008.
Mayweather Sr. told Iole that in this case, De La Hoya really doesn't need him because there is no way that Pacquiao will be able to win the fight. The big rumor around the industry is that Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, trainer of Pacquiao's rival Juan Manuel Marquez, will get the nod the train De La Hoya.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Mayweather Sr. said. “Nobody can do what I do. Don’t get me wrong. But Oscar doesn’t need me to beat Pacquiao. He really doesn’t. For this fight, Oscar can beat Pacquiao with just about anyone training him. When he hits him with that first left hook, it’s all going to be over. Ain’t no way Pacquiao can beat Oscar. No way. So, I’ll be honest, Oscar doesn’t need to pay the price to get me in this fight, because he’ll win this with me or without me.”
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