LEGENDARY ALI TRAINER PICKS DELA HOYA
MANILA, OCTOBER 21, 2008 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Angelo Dundee, the legendary trainer from Philadelphia, thinks there’s no way Manny Pacquiao can beat Oscar dela Hoya in Dec. 6 in Las Vegas.
“Can Manny win that fight? “I don’t think so, I really don’t,” Dundee, who worked the corners of boxing legends Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman, told boxingconfidential.com.
Dundee knows a good fighter and a good fight when he sees one, but sounded so sure that Dela Hoya’s size advantage over Pacquiao is all the 35-year-old champion needs to win this one.
“Oscar has fought and sparred with so many smaller guys. And Oscar has knocked them all over the ring,” Dundee, who just turned 87 last Aug. 30, told boxing chronicler Michael Marley.
Dela Hoya stands 5-foot-10 with a reach of 73 inches while Pacquiao, though younger at 29, stands just a shade under 5-foot-7 with a reach of 67 inches.
Dela Hoya launched his pro career in 1992 at 134 lbs and has fought as heavy as 160. He fought his last couple of fights at 150 lbs and has agreed to fight Pacquiao at 147.
The Pinoy superstar began his career in 1995 at 106 lbs and has been at his heaviest as a fighter last June when he fought and defeated then WBC lightweight champion David Diaz at 135 lbs.
Dundee, whose real name is Angelo Mirena, has worked with 15 world champions, but no relationship could be greater than the one he had with Ali, the heavyweight champion and “The Greatest” of them all.
Dundee was in Ali’s corner in great fights against Archie Moore, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, Foreman, Ken Norton and later on, Leon Spinks, and was successful in most of them.
When Ali retired, Dundee found a future star in 1981 in Leonard, and again became part of classic fights between Leonard and Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler.
Last month, Duran and Hearns, now in their fifties, came out with their own thoughts on the coming fight between Dela Hoya, the pay-per-view king, and Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king.
While Duran, the “Hands of Stone” from Panama, is rooting for Pacquiao, Hearns, known as “The Hitman” from Detroit, is going for Dela Hoya in the highly-anticipated match at the MGM in Las Vegas.
“A tough fight, it really is,” Duran also told Marley. “I’m leaning to Pacquiao. I like Dela Hoya. He has been a great fighter and the people love him. But he has not been active in recent years.”
“Pacquiao has been extremely active. It seems like he is always training and always fighting. It’s not good for an older fighter like Oscar to stay out of the gym so much. The inactivity could hurt him,” said Duran, now 57.
Hearns, at 6-foot-1 very hard to hit sometimes, said the size difference will be the key.
“No way Pacquiao can win that fight,” offered Hearns. “Oscar may carry him for a few rounds but he is way too big and too strong for the smaller guy. He will win this fight easy.”
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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