By Mark Vester
Last week, trainer Freddie Roach spoke about a sparring session that took place last year between Ivan Calderon, then the WBO champion at 105-pounds, and Oscar De La Hoya. Roach, who was training De La Hoya at the time, brought in Calderon to prepare Oscar for the speed of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Roach, in his Ring Magazine blog, said Calderon boxed De La Hoya's ears off and made the much bigger fighter look silly by making him miss most of his punches. Based on the Calderon sparring session, Roach is confident that De La Hoya will have a lot of trouble when he faces Manny Pacquiao on December 6.
"After I trained Oscar, I realized he had trouble with smaller guys and southpaws. Oscar sparred with Ivan Calderon, the former 105-pound champion, when I trained him for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight because I wanted someone real quick. Calderon slapped Oscar around like it was unbelievable. I said between rounds one time, 'Oscar, I want you to hit him one shot to show him who’s boss.' He couldn’t do it," Roach said.
Calderon remembers the sparring session and he remembers giving De La Hoya a lot of problems, but he doesn't think it's smart for Roach to compare the sparring session to what's going to happen between De La Hoya and Pacquiao. He says the Filipino champion fights in a very different style that makes for a very different fight.
"I sparred with him for three or four rounds, and the truth is I made him uncomfortable. I gave him problems, but maybe he appeared like that because timing wasn't there yet. He tried to hit me, but maybe he just didn't want to injure me. They shouldn't pay attention to this because Pacquiao's style is to come forward and my style is different," Calderon told El Nuevo Dia.
"I move side to side and that makes me very difficult to hit. If De La Hoya wins by decision, it's as if he lost [making a point that Oscar needs to stop Manny]. All he needs to do is not go on inside too much, and use his jab to set up his punches. Pacquiao needs to move side to side and use his quicker hands. He should attack the body because it's going to be hard for him to hit De La Hoya's face."
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