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De La Hoya hires Beristain as trainer

September 24, 2008|Lance Pugmire | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Oscar De La Hoya's cornerman changed again Tuesday, and his third trainer in three fights will be Mexico's Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain.

De La Hoya, preparing for a Dec. 6 showdown with Manny Pacquiao, had to choose between working with an available trainer like Beristain or continue with Floyd Mayweather Sr., who signed to train England's Ricky Hatton for a Nov. 22 bout -- an obvious conflict.

Beristain has prepared world champions Ricardo Lopez, Daniel Zaragoza and Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez in the past, but it's his current standing as trainer of Juan Manuel Marquez that appealed to De La Hoya. Marquez fought Pacquiao to a draw in 2004 and lost a split decision to him earlier this year.

"I already have a plan in mind for beating Pacquiao and I know Oscar will do whatever it takes to carry that plan through on fight night," Beristain said in a prepared statement released by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.

Tickets for the 147-pound bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas go on sale this morning at 10 through Ticketmaster outlets.

-- Lance Pugmire

PRO FOOTBALL

Steelers will be without Parker and Hampton

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without injured Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker and nose tackle Casey Hampton for Monday night's home game against Baltimore.

With Parker out with a sprained left knee, first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall will make his first NFL start.

Hampton has a strained groin. He will be replaced by Chris Hoke, who made 10 starts in 2004 after Hampton injured a knee.

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Marc Bulger is out as the St. Louis Rams' starting quarterback after throwing two touchdown passes in three games and will be replaced by 38-year-old Trent Green for Sunday's game against Buffalo.

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Kansas City Chiefs Coach Herm Edwards says he's "leaning" toward starting veteran quarterback Damon Huard against Denver on Sunday instead of second-year pro Tyler Thigpen.

PRO BASKETBALL

Free agent Dixon returns to Wizards

Guard Juan Dixon signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Wizards. Dixon played his first three NBA seasons with the Wizards, from 2002-03 to 2004-05.

He has averaged 8.9 points, 1.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds over six seasons.

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The San Antonio Spurs signed first-round pick George Hill.

MISCELLANY

Wells is likely to play Saturday for Ohio State

Tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells is likely to return for No. 14 Ohio State against Minnesota on Saturday.

Wells has been out of action since injuring his right foot in the opening victory over Youngstown State.

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Kings center Marc-Andre Cliche is out indefinitely after suffering a dislocated shoulder during an intra-squad scrimmage Sunday.

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Tony Bruno, a veteran of more than 30 years on radio, including stints on both ESPN and Fox, will host a 7-10 p.m. show on AM 570 beginning Monday. Bruno replaces Joe McDonnell, an L.A. radio voice for more than 30 years.

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Trainer Larry Jones plans to retire after next year's Breeders' Cup. His filly Eight Belles collapsed and died after finishing second in this year's Kentucky Derby.

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NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger lost his ride at Red Bull Racing, paving the way for former Formula One driver Scott Speed to replace him next season.

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Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson of the U.S. won the 400-meter hurdles in 49.33 seconds at a track meet at Kawasaki, Japan. Miriam Barnes of the U.S. won the women's 400 in 53.18 seconds.

PASSINGS

Former Vikings linebacker Hilgenberg, 66

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg died Tuesday after a battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 66. Section B.

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