LEGENDARY  ALI  TRAINER  JOINS  DELA  HOYA  CAMP

MANILA, NOVEMBER 1, 2008 (STAR) By Abac Cordedo -  Angelo Dundee knows a great fight when he sees one. No wonder at 87, the legendary trainer couldn’t resist an offer for him to help Oscar dela Hoya prepare for the biggest fight of the year – the one against Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas.

At his age, Dundee should be enjoying big fights rather than working them, or recalling the good old days he worked the corners of great champions like Muhammad Ali or Sugar Ray Leonard.

“After working with Ali and Leonard, I think it’s only fitting that I now get the chance to work with the most important fighter of this era,” Dundee told the press in announcing his newest ring contract.

“This fight against Pacquiao is the biggest fight boxing has seen in years and I’m excited to be a part of it and to help lead Oscar to victory,” added the Hall of Famer from Philadelphia.

The fight, which sold out $17 million worth of tickets just hours after they were released to the public, is also expected to generate a hundred million dollars in revenue at the end of the day.

Dela Hoya, in the last couple of fights of his illustrious career, had earlier tapped Mexican Nacho Beristain as his chief trainer. And now comes Dundee, who helped Ali become the greatest of them all.

“I am honored to have Angelo Dundee on my team for the biggest fight of my career,” Dela Hoya said.

“His knowledge of the fight game is second to none, and along with Nacho Beristain, I feel like I have an unbeatable team in my corner for this fight against Pacquiao.”

Last week, Dundee said Pacquiao doesn’t stand a chance against Pacquiao.

“Can Manny win that fight? I don’t think so, I really don’t. Oscar has fought and sparred with so many smaller guys. And Oscar has knocked them all over the ring,” he said.

Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, have yet to react on Dundee’s entry into Team Dela Hoya.

As consultant, Dundee will review tapes of both boxers, make consultations with Team Dela Hoya regarding their technique and strategy.

Reports said Dundee would make visits to Dela Hoya’s training camp at Big Bear, and attend fight week events such as the final press conference, public workout and the official weigh-in.

“I’ve never been to Big Bear,” Dundee was quoted as saying.

However, Dundee won’t be in the corner during fight night because he may be too old to do that. Beristain will be there, and Dundee could be taking a special seat nearby “so he can yell instructions.”

“Angelo Dundee is a living legend and now he will take the Golden Boy under his wing,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com.

“Nacho Beristain is one of the best trainers in the world and, as such, he is very capable of leading Oscar to victory, but we feel this fight for Oscar is extremely important because most media members feel it should be a walk in the park for Oscar.

“But there is no such thing as a walk in the park when you go against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” said Schaeffer.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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