Oscar De La Hoya said Thursday he finalized his deal to have Floyd Mayweather Sr. train him for the final three bouts of his career, including a September rematch with Mayweather's son, Floyd Jr.
De La Hoya said he phoned Freddie Roach, who trained him in his split-decision loss to Mayweather Jr. in May, and told him of his plans.
De La Hoya was irritated by Internet reports that he did not tell Roach personally of his dismissal. He said he had a pleasant conversation with Roach on Thursday and said he told Roach he hoped they could do business together in the future.
"I consider Freddie a friend and I think he did a great job of training me for the fight," De La Hoya said. "I told him that I thought we could work together again, if not with he and I but with Golden Boy. I just didn't obey his commands (in the match against Mayweather).
"But we had a pleasant conversation. I told him I owed it to him to tell him personally. I just think Mayweather is the guy to train me for this fight, because he knows how to beat that style (that Mayweather Jr. has). It's nothing at all against Freddie."
Roach couldn't be reached for comment. But one of his confidantes who asked not to be identified said it was a simple mix-up. He said De La Hoya tried to call Roach the week of the Roy Jones-Felix Trinidad fight in January. Roach trained an undercard fight on the Madison Square Garden card.
But the Roach side was prepared to lose the De La Hoya gig anyway because Roach is training Manny Pacquiao for his March 15 rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez and is co-training Bernard Hopkins for his April 19 bout with Joe Calzaghe. He's working with both Pacquiao and Calzaghe at his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif.
Given that De La Hoya requires all of a trainer's attention and wants to go away to training camp, it wasn't logistically possible for Roach to do the job, the source said.
De La Hoya was irked because he said he did the right thing and was still getting criticized for it. He had been criticized early in his career for not telling other trainers they were fired.
He began his pro career with his amateur coach, Robert Alcazar, as his trainer. He said other trainers were foisted upon him and thus it was not his place to tell them they were fired.
"The fact of the matter is, all these trainers I've had, they had been pressured on me by other people, managers or promoters at the time or whoever," De La Hoya said. "The only trainers I brought in were Mayweather and Roach. I called Mayweather last time and told him what I was doing and I called Freddie today.
"With these other trainers, I never brought them in or asked for them. People had their own agendas and brought them in and pushed them on me. Why would I be asking for all these different trainers?"
De La Hoya intends to fight three times this year and then retire. He will fight May 3, hopefully against Steve Forbes in a tune-up for his Sept. 13 rematch with Mayweather Jr. Win or lose, he plans a retirement/farewell bout in December.
Though he acknowledged hearing rumors that he would take his May 3 bout to NBC, he said Thursday his intention was to have the fight on HBO. The September fight would be on pay-per-view and then he said he hoped to make the farewell on HBO, as well.
"That's the opponent I want and hopefully we can iron out the details," he said of Forbes. "Obviously, our choice is for it to be on HBO. I consider HBO my home. I fought there all my life. I've heard those rumblings about (NBC), but my main objective is for it to be free on HBO, open to the public and a fight where we can sell cheap tickets."
- Oscar De La Hoya
- Freddie Roach