De La Hoya signs Dundee as special consultant ahead of Pacquiao fight

Updated: October 30, 2008, 5:44 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee is teaming up with the Golden Boy.

Dundee, who has worked with 15 world champions, including fellow Hall of Famers Muhammad Ali, Carmen Basilio, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman, has signed on as special consultant for Oscar De La Hoya for his preparation for the Dec. 6 welterweight showdown with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"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 said Thursday. "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."

Nacho Beristain remains De La Hoya's chief trainer, but Dundee, 87, will consult with him and De La Hoya on various topics related to the fight.

"Angelo Dundee is a living legend and now he will take the Golden Boy under his wing," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said. "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.

"We felt to have somebody with the knowledge and the eyes and the credentials of Angelo Dundee to observe and give us his thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of De La Hoya and Pacquiao -- it's invaluable. That's why we wanted to have Angelo as a camp consultant."

Dundee will review fight tapes, consult with De La Hoya and Beristain on technique and strategy, visit training camp in Big Bear, Calif., and attend fight week events.

Dundee, who has stayed close to the fight game even though he hasn't been involved with many fighters in recent years, will join De La Hoya and Beristain at their Big Bear camp for several days in November to watch De La Hoya train, offer his insight and review videos with them.

"I've never been to Big Bear," Dundee said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Although Dundee will also be with De La Hoya the week of the fight, he will not be an official part of the in-ring team on fight night.

"He will be sitting in the front row in the corner so that if necessary, he can yell his instructions and comments," Schaefer said.

"I am honored to have Angelo Dundee on my team for the biggest fight of my career," De La 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."

Dundee made it clear he was not going to get in Beristain's way and that he understood who the head trainer was.

"They'll dictate the role, but whatever is necessary I will do," Dundee said. "I will speak with De La Hoya and Nacho, but I am not a guy who pushes. I'm there to help. I'm not there to mix anybody up."

Dundee was already in fine form, predicting victory for his new pupil.

"The greater fighter is De La Hoya, with all that experience and tremendous amateur background," he said. "He's got the style to beat Pacquiao. He will beat Pacquiao, but in a good fight because you got two great fighters fighting each other."

Dundee also dismissed De La Hoya's size advantage as being the key reason that he will win.

"It's going to be the styles of the fighters, not the weight that determines the winner of the fight," Dundee said.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.