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Clancy the Perfectionist Won’t Pull Any Punches

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As confident as Oscar De La Hoya felt with Emmanuel Steward as his trainer, the new man in the corner has equally impressive credentials, even if they need to be dusted off a little.

Gil Clancy has been coaxed out of retirement to assist De La Hoya’s trainer, Roberto Alcazar, for the Dec. 6 fight against Manuel Rivera.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 20, 1997 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 20, 1997 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 3 Sports Desk 1 inches; 18 words Type of Material: Correction
Boxing--Oscar De La Hoya’s opponent in his fight Dec. 6 will be Wilfredo Rivera. The name was incorrect in Wednesday’s editions.

Clancy insisted Tuesday from his home on Long Island that his role will be so limited he won’t even visit De La Hoya’s Big Bear camp. Clancy said he will join De La Hoya the week of the fight in Atlantic City, N.J.

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But it’s safe to assume he wasn’t hired merely to regale De La Hoya’s entourage with stories about his former champions, such as Emile Griffith, Ken Buchanan and George Foreman.

Clancy, a CBS boxing analyst in recent years, was doing anything but regaling De La Hoya after the near-loss to Pernell Whitaker, scolding him about his wrong-headed approach to fighting a left-handed opponent.

De La Hoya wasn’t offended. To the contrary, he told his promoter, Bob Arum, he wanted to work with Clancy.

Arum tried to hire him then. But Clancy, 75, hadn’t been in a corner since overseeing Gerry Cooney’s second-round loss to Foreman in 1990.

Clancy recommended Steward, who proved an excellent choice until he became too cozy with Arum’s rival, Don King. Arum made another offer to Clancy, who accepted as long as he could do most of his work via long distance.

He doesn’t expect the work to be too demanding, saying De La Hoya is close to a complete fighter.

Of course, he said, no fighter will ever be better than close.

“I worked Emile Griffith’s corner for over 120 rounds, and, after every one, I’d say something to him,” Clancy said.

“He asked me once, ‘Don’t I ever do anything right?’ I said, ‘You do almost everything right. But I’m looking for the perfect round.’

“That’s how I expect it will be between Oscar and me.”

*

Baseball’s expansion draft was so inconsequential to the Dodgers and Angels that no one had to miss a minute of the Laker game at Utah. . . .

More than losing Dennis Springer, the Angels were hurt when Arizona and Tampa Bay ignored their other players until the next-to-last pick in the second round. . . .

That says all you need to know about the organization’s depth. . . .

Now that Eric Karros, Eric Young and Todd Zeile are still Dodgers, the most intriguing rumor this week is that John Robinson will resign in the locker room before Saturday’s game against UCLA. . . .

According to the theory, that would inspire the Trojans for their upset bid. . . .

“Check those people that have this scoop for you and don’t listen to them any more,” Robinson said Tuesday. . . .

Robinson believes the Trojans will find all the inspiration they need in their 9 1/2-point underdog status. . . .

But will that make a difference in the outcome? . . .

“I’d sooner their quarterback and tailback have the flu and not play,” Robinson said. . . .

Even more candid was boxing trainer Steward, who revealed Tuesday the strategy he has devised for Carlos Hernandez in his super featherweight fight Thursday night at the Grand Olympic Auditorium against Genaro Hernandez. . . .

“Knock him out,” Steward said. . . .

Genaro is too fine a technician to lose a decision. . . .

Top Rank is promoting the fight as “Hernandez vs. Hernandez: It’s Not a Divorce.” . . .

It’s not even a quarrel. . . .

Genaro, from East L.A., and Carlos, from Bellflower, frequently visit each other’s homes. . . .

“I want to say ‘Hi’ to the Hernandez family,” Carlos said at Tuesday’s news conference. “My family and his.” . . .

USC track and field Coach Ron Allice can expect Chino senior Angela Williams’ letter of intent in the mail any day now. . . .

Williams, the state 100-meter champion, was Track & Field News’ high school female athlete of the year for 1997. . . .

She will join Kinshasa Davis, the state 200 and 400 champion from Long Beach Wilson, who enrolled at USC this fall. . . .

Now that the Rose Bowl has been selected for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, U.S. Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg can focus on another important decision. . . .

Does he retain Steve Sampson as the men’s national team coach? . . .

Maybe that’s what Rothenberg and Sampson were discussing over dinner Tuesday night at Dan Tana’s. . . .

Or could it be that Rothenberg was there to see Dan Tana’s regular Dabney Coleman?

*

While wondering where Karros will be on opening day, I was thinking: A.C. Green never should have left the Lakers, the Clippers never should have let Bo Outlaw leave, I’d rather have Cade McNown at quarterback in a big game than Peyton Manning.

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