Oscar De La Hoya, here speaking at a news conference in New York, says that trash talk by Freddie Roach motivates him to work harder. Photo / Fightwireimages.com
Editor’s note: Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, will rotate blog posts as they prepare for the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight Dec. 6 in Las Vegas.
Nov. 23, 2008
I have to win this fight. I mean I HAVE to win this fight? What makes it different from any other fight is that I can’t allow myself to be beaten by a smaller guy. That’s a lot of pressure on me. When an elite fighter is fighting a smaller guy, he has to win. No ifs, ands or buts. And it doesn’t matter how old you are or how many times you’ve fought. You have to do everything possible to win. That’s my motivation for this fight, not [trainer Freddie Roach’s] trash talking. I don’t disrespect Pacquiao; he’s a great fighter. His skill, his speed, his punching power; that’s also motivation for me. I’ve watched his videos; I’ve seen him on TV. If I’m not ready, he can do some damage. So, obviously, my objective is to be ready. Right now, I feel great. Because Pacquaio’s coming up in weight, if I don’t look spectacular, if I don’t do some damage, I’m going to be disappointed with myself. That’s the reason I’m working as hard as I can in the gym.
Nov. 21, 2008
The last time I fought at 147 [the weight at which De La Hoya will fight Pacquiao on Dec. 6] was against Arturo Gatti in 2001. I felt strong, although obviously I was younger. The weight was easier for me to make then. My metabolism was full steam ahead. Adrenalin pumped through my body. I worked out hard and I lost weight. Now, being 35 years old, it’s totally different. I’ve had to adjust my diet. My diet is based on my blood type, O-positive. We had my blood drawn and sent to nutritionists we use back east. They put together a diet based on my blood type, what works for me as an individual. I’ve been doing this diet for around three years now. Finally, for this training camp, I have it down to a tee. I can eat unlimited amounts of food, a lot of deer meat, kangaroo meat, everything is organic. I have milkshakes made with rice milk. Everything I eat is natural. I can eat unlimited amounts of food and I’m losing weight. I even eat small amounts during work outs. A week ago, I weighed 145 and was feeling strong. Something is working. And I owe it all to the diet. Weight has been easy for me to make. I really recommend this diet, although everybody has their own approach when it comes to eating. Am I surprised I’m below 147 weeks before the fight? I’ve actually been on weight for more than a month. When (trainer) Nacho (Beristain) found out, when he saw I was about 148 at one point, he said, “You have to eat more.” I told him, “Nacho, I’m tired of eating. I’m eating everything I can.” A few days ago, I came out of the gym weighing 146. Nacho tells me again, “Eat more.” So I had two big plates of pasta, some deer meat, vegetables, two liters of water and I still weighed only148 in the morning. It’s really something else. The good thing is that I really do feel very strong.
Nov. 19, 2008
A lot of people ask me what we do in the final weeks before the fight. This is what happens. Obviously, the training needs to be our focus first and foremost. But what really happens in an event this big is that we start doing all these interviews. For instance, I wake up in the morning around 6 o’clock. I have my family here, my wife and two kids. I wake up my little girl if her mom’s not up and change the Pampers. That’s how my day starts. I have my little breakfast at around 7 o’clock before I start working out. I go the gym around 8. After I finish training, for about two, three hours, at around 11 o’clock, I start doing interviews. Whether it’s The Ring, Yahoo!, whoever, I’m doing interviews. As the fight gets closer and closer, you start doing more and more interviews. If you can’t handle it, it can become a distraction. It can overwhelm you. I know how to handle it, though. I know how to deal with interviews, when to do them and which ones to do. For me, it actually becomes motivation because I talk about the fight. I start thinking about my opponent, about how much work I have to do. So, for me, working in the gym is only part of it. I get a better feel for the fight by doing all these interviews.
Nov. 17, 2008
Freddie Roach has been saying a lot of things leading up to this fight. Look, I’ve known Freddie now since trained me for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight (on May 5, 2007). I admire him as a trainer and as a person. My family got to know him and really care for him. He’s a good guy. Freddie Roach knows what he’s saying. Freddie Roach knows what he’s doing. Obviously, he has to motivate his fighter. Obviously, he has to try to get under my skin. I don’t know how much of it is real, I don’t know how much is hype. When I hear comments like that from Freddie [example: De La Hoya can’t pull the trigger on his punches] they’re obviously motivation for me. I come home from every training session here in Big Bear and get phone messages that Freddie said this and Freddie said that. He said I couldn’t handle (105-pound) Ivan Calderon in sparring for Floyd Mayweather. All I can do is laugh … ha, ha, ha. It just makes me train that much harder to win this fight, to show him that the fighter I am now is not the fighter he trained to lose to Floyd Mayweather Jr. I’m a whole different fighter. Is he just trying to sell the fight? I don’t know. What Freddie has to understand, though, is that this fight doesn’t need any selling. There already is a lot of talking and curiosity about what might happen in the ring. That includes Manny. As the fight gets closer, Freddie will start to realize that Manny is thinking, “It worries me. Wow, this is a serious fight. It’s no ordinary fight fighting Oscar De La Hoya.”
Nov. 15, 2008
A lot of people ask me: Why did you chose to fight Manny Pacquiao? The process went like this. I chose Pacquaio first and foremost because of the challenge. Manny Pacquiao is considered the best pound for pound fighter in world today by the experts. That is a challenge that motivates me. Second, I took the fight because of the fact they called me out. I always take it as a challenge when you call me out. I’m going to respond to it, I’m going to react to it. And, third, this is a worldwide event. You have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and you have the most popular fighter in the world in myself. Having both inside the ring creates excitement, it creates noise for the sport of boxing, not only in the boxing community but all over the world. This fight was no-brainer for me. This fight I’m sure was a no-brainer for Manny. He’s going to make a lot of money. When you have a fight like this, a fight that doesn’t come along very often, you have to jump at the opportunity. That’s what I did.