Fres Oquendo:David Haye will do it and beat Klitschko • Latino Sports


Fres Oquendo:David Haye will do it and beat Klitschko


New York -Fres Oquendo could get his day in the Boxing Hall of Fame but that is skeptical because he never held one of the major world titles. Though the credentials are there for consideration as the second fighter from Puerto Rico to have a heavyweight title, that being a WBO Heavyweight championship and USBA/NABF belt. Alphabet soup titles, however it goes in the record books as something significant.

And though Oquendo, 38-years of age, and residing in the Wind City of Chicago, still has ambitions of getting in the mix of the mediocre heavyweight picture, he currently may have an impact with the WBA/IBF title currently in the possession of Wladimir Klitschko.

“I know he will do it,” says Oquendo about his friend David Haye who challenges Klitschko for the title in Hamburg Germany July 2nd.  “He has the power and will hit Klitschko’s chin,” he said. And Oquendo should have the knowledge, probably first hand insights, as he embarks to England in the next few days to be one of the sparring partners to prepare Haye for his destiny.

It is a friendship that developed in 2005 when Oquendo walked in the famed 5th Street Gym down in South Florida. Haye, then a cruiserweight, saw something about Oquendo that he admired, his jab. The tough kid from Puerto Rico had the stamina and guts to take a punch and give his best. Then the heavyweight division was still trying to find the identity that once was and, as many say now, still in need of new faces.

The WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali, and his brother Wladimir, have their share of critics as there are those who claim they hand pick opponents. And a general sentiment is the heavyweight division will never have a unified champion because the Klitschko brothers will never face each other.

Oquendo, who fought Oliver McCall in December, losing a 12-round split decision for the vacant IBF vacant Inter-Continental Heavyweight title, and who has been in the ring with former champions Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz, anticipates returning soon.  His goal is to get Haye ready for the moment, and at the same time be mentally and physically ready for another chance to be a part of the heavyweight title mix.

“Jab and use the right hand, he can move,” says Oquendo, tying his best not to give away any strategy that he and Haye will be utilizing. “Like a chess match,” he says. Not a chess match that promoters seem to be using in keeping the Klitschko brothers with the belts. Oquendo is not bitter and holds no vengeance against the Klitschko brothers.

This is strictly business with a prevailing view in boxing, until the heavyweight division is unified, then the sport continues to depend on Manny Pacquiao for marketing and headlines. “A majority is boxing politics,” says Oquendo. “Promoters are monopolizing the game therefore the Klitschko’s look spectacular.”

Haye could begin to change that plan and Oquendo is ready to help him. “Make him move his head,” he says. Meaning Haye will jab and Klitschko will not know where to go with his punches.  “It’s good for boxing,” says Oquendo, if indeed his friend David Haye pulls it off. “Boxing needs a new face,” he says.

And one day, just like the inductees this weekend to the Hall of Fame, Fres Oquendo should get a call. But there could still be another fight left in him. If not in the ring there is every reason to believe he will get his day up in Canastota, even if the titles he held did not say WBC, WBA, IBF or WBO.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]













About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.