Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 | 6:25 p.m.
With his longtime trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., busy training Ricky Hatton for his upcoming fight, Oscar De La Hoya is in search of his third trainer in as many bouts.
De La Hoya (39-5, 30 knockouts) is scheduled to have a Dec. 6 welterweight showdown with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
De La Hoya identified three trainers -- Nacho Beristain, Jesus Rivero and Rudy Perez -- as potential replacements, but said a decision wouldn't be made until the Mayweather option was exhausted and he had a chance to talk to the candidates.
The leading candidate is Beristain, who trains pound-for-pound ranked brothers Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez. Beristain is one of the most respected trainers in the sport and he knows Pacquiao well. He was in Juan Manuel Marquez's corner for both of his fights with Pacquiao, a controversial draw in 2004 and a controversial split-decision loss in March. Many believed Marquez won both fights.
Rivero, known as "The Professor," trained De La Hoya earlier in his career, including for his junior welterweight championship victory against Julio Cesar Chavez in 1996.
Hatton, the Englishman who is tight with star Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, fights Paulie Malignaggi (25-1, five knockouts) of New York on Nov. 22 at the MGM Grand. In August, Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) split with longtime trainer Billy Graham.
"I think it's ludicrous," Graham told the Manchester Evening News last week of Hatton's switch to Mayweather Sr. "I'm not saying he's not a good trainer, but it's outrageous. He's not the trainer for Ricky Hatton."
Hatton has displayed an aggressive, attacking style in his career. Mayweather, 55, has mostly been a defensive coach. He called Graham one of the worst trainers he's ever seen in his life.
"I can train him blindfolded and with both hands tied behind my back," Mayweather told the Evening News.
"The fight against Malignaggi is make or break," Hatton said, "and I'm sure that I'll benefit from Floyd's incredible knowledge."