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Oscar De La Hoya trumpets the Alvarez-Khan fight, and Donald Trump's name comes up

When Oscar De La Hoya was searching for an opponent this winter for Canelo Alvarez, he found inspiration in the unlikeliest of places.

"As I was watching TV, I was watching a debate with Donald Trump," De La Hoya said.

Then came the idea: Why not Amir Khan, a Muslim?

"Thank you, Trump," De La Hoya said with a laugh.

So yes, De La Hoya is a real boxing promoter now.

As Alvarez's promoter, De La Hoya' had the task at a Universal CityWalk news conference Wednesday of creating interest in the May 7 fight, something he managed to do by name-dropping the most talked-about person in the country.

Was the story true? Who knows. Really, does it matter? This is boxing. The truth is fluid.

Were the racial undertones of the story objectionable? Perhaps, but De La Hoya's customers probably won't care. Anyone who pays money to watch people hit each other in the face gave up the moral high ground a long time ago.

Mindful of Alvarez's heavily Latino fan base, De La Hoya made it a point to say he wouldn't vote for a presidential candidate who has flamed anti-immigrant sentiments.

"If I had the opportunity to climb into the ring with him, I would knock him out with one punch," the bilingual De La Hoya joked in Spanish.

Alvarez said he wanted the event to be a success to spite Trump. Alvarez is from Mexico and Khan from England.

"This can be a low blow to Donald Trump," Alvarez said in Spanish.

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Khan said he wasn't bothered by the widespread perception that this fight is a mismatch, but his body language indicated otherwise.

Khan has weighed in at 140 or fewer pounds in 30 of his 34 fights. Alvarez has spent the last several years at 154 pounds.

The weight limit for this fight is 155 pounds.

"You get people saying to you, 'You're too small,' 'You're fighting a guy with a big punch,' 'He's going to hurt you and your career will be done,'" Khan said. "I let it go in one ear, come out the other ear, never let it get to me."

Alvarez also bristled at the notion the outcome was practically predetermined.

"You know, there are always critics who are criticizing the fights," Alvarez said.

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De La Hoya said he is certain Alvarez will one day fight popular middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. But asked whether the fight would happen this year, De La Hoya rambled about the potential obstacles in reaching an agreement.

It sounded as if De La Hoya wanted to wait until Golovkin was too old to have a real chance to beat Alvarez, so I asked De La Hoya if the fight would happen before or after Golovkin's 35th birthday.

"Way before," De La Hoya said. "We're not Mayweather-Pacquiao."

Golovkin turns 34 on April 8.

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While the Dodgers have enough depth to replace most of their players, there are two they really can't afford to lose: Clayton Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez.

That makes the condition of Gonzalez's neck a major concern.

The only consistent run producer on the team, Gonzalez revealed he has a bulging disk in his neck. He missed the team's workout Sunday and will miss the exhibition opener Thursday.

But if there's someone who can manage a battered body over a 162-game season, it's Gonzalez. The All-Star first baseman had neck, back and knee problems last year, but still played a team-high 156 games.

The Dodgers' previous manager, Don Mattingly, did what he could to protect Gonzalez by removing him from the lineup every couple of weeks. The days off would be scheduled a week or two in advance.

"It worked," Gonzalez said. "It kept me healthy throughout the year."

But Gonzalez said he would prefer that Manager Dave Roberts not make decisions about days off ahead of time.

"I think there are going to be days, especially with my neck and things that I have that are chronic, there are going to be times that I need days," Gonzalez said. "I show up to the ballpark certain days, and something happened the night before or the game before or I wake up and I'm just like, 'I can't go.' That's why I don't like off days when I feel great, because I know there are times I'm going to need the off day."

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Random fact: Gonzalez and Alvarez are friends who frequently exchange text messages. When Alvarez fought Miguel Cotto in November, Gonzalez was part of his entourage.

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Don't understand the outrage over Chuck the Condor. Lighten up, people. He's the mascot of a basketball team, not the president of the United States.

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So Clippers owner Steve Ballmer can dunk off a trampoline.

That made me wonder: Can Dodgers President Stan Kasten hit a home run? Or how about get his team on television this year?

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D'Angelo Russell scored a career-high 39 points Tuesday night. Does Byron Scott get credit for helping him reach this point, or even more blame for not starting him sooner?

Follow Dylan Hernandez on Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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