He's Loaded With Duende But...President ODLH Must Make Executive Decision On Head Trainer

04.01.06 - By Michael Marley, I bow to no man in my admiration for Oscar De La Hoya. I will, though, bow to the millions of females who adore and swoon over Oscar. My fantasies about Oscar are limited to his romping in the boxing ring, nowhere else, I can assure you. I have told Oscar's lieutenant, ex-banker Richard Schaefer, more than once and in writing that I consider ODLH to be the president of boxing. He's just as charismatic and as popular in that role as JFK was when he was living in the White House..

Even people who wish to see boxing abolished (that's you, sister-in-law Sylvia in Santa Barbara) look at how De La Hoya "represents," at how he carries himself so effortlessly as a well-mannered gentleman. It may be hard to reconcile that stylish person with the guy who unleashed animal-like ferocity on Ricardo Mayorga but Oscar is, I guess, like a two-sided coin.

Savage and smooth in the ring, suave, debonair, sophisticated and intelligent when he's not in his four-cornered "office. I dread to think how low boxing would have been in recent years without his presence. He's like perfume sprayed on the town dump. He, more than anyone else, lends boxing an air of respectability and, dare I say it, a modicum of dignity.

From Wikipedia: "tener duende" means "having duende", is a rarely explained concept in Spanish art, particularly flamenco, having to do with emotion, expression and authenticity. In fact, "Tener duende" can be loosely translated as "having Soul"."

Anyone want to argue with me that if you could bottle the duende, Oscar has shown inside the ring and out, you would be a bazillionaire? I didn't think so.

Which is why it pains me to call Oscar on the carpet. Which is why it pains me to accuse him of not properly treating his loyal liege, his trainer Floyd Joy Mayweather Sr. I will stop short of claiming Oscar is abusing an employee. Floyd Joy sure won't get the trainer's 10 per cent standard commission on May 5 when his boss may gross $35 million but he would be paid well above the federally mandated minimum wage.

But Oscar is letting Floyd Sr. twist in the wind right now. This Friday is January 5 and Oscar is supposed to open up camp, I hear in Puerto Rico around the first of February. So, three weeks before camp opens, Floyd Sr. is dangling, not knowing whether his services are being retained or whether, in the great British phrase, he is being made "redundant."

That's not right. That does not fit with Oscar's persona and he knows it.

Let me digress. When I was a wee lad, we had a kiddie TV called Big Brother Bob in Boston.

Every four and five and six-year-old in town would watch Big Brother and, on cue from him, drink a milk toast to the president (no, it wasn't Hoover, it was Ike). I don't think I've ever toasted another Republican but I digress.

(Btw, the rug rats in studio got on Big Bro's nerves one day and, when he thought they were off the air he made a remark referring to his adoring child fans as "those little bastards." You could look it up. I spit my milk up laughing that day.)

We should all be toasting and saluting President De La Hoya these days. But I can't until he rectifies the situation with Floyd Sr.

If your trainer is fired, Oscar, tell him. Do it face to face or over the phone but you do it. Don't send a "Turk" to tell Floyd Sr. to turn in his playbook. Don't have some minion call him up and say, thanks but don't let the door hit you where the dog should've bit you.

Floyd Sr. is your loyal dog, dawg. In my exclusive interviews with him on, your trainer said it best.

"It's Oscar's choice, it's Oscar's money, it's Oscar's trip," Pretty Daddy Mayweather told me.

Floyd Sr. wasn't whining or bitching. He knows trainers are hired to be later fired. He appreciates all the money you have paid him and how you have treated him in the past. Will he be in the gym with you, will he be in the corner with you on May 5? He's right, only Oscar knows what Oscar will decide on that vital personnel matter.

My opinion is you strengthen your hand by having the man who may have taught his son "everything he knows about boxing but not everything I know about boxing" on your team.

If he is gone, you weaken your hand. You can still beat PBF, yes, but you just make that mission more difficult.

OK, Mister President, make that call. Retain or release? That is your executive privilege for sure.

But Floyd Sr. has been waiting for that callback since mid-November. The holidays are over, you will begin camp soon.

Don't let Floyd Sr. dangle any longer. He's been handsomely paid but he's also paid his dues with Team De La Hoya.

Over to you, Mister President.

Article posted on 04.01.2007

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