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De La Hoya cut his hand during training

Oscar De La Hoya needed 11 stitches for a cut on his left hand last week, but his promoter said the injury wouldn't affect his fight against middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins on Saturday night.

Top Rank executive Todd duBoef said De La Hoya's skin was punctured on the fleshy part of his hand just below the ring finger when his cut man, Joe Chavez, was cutting off his hand wrapping after a workout Wednesday.

The cut was revealed to the Nevada Athletic Commission because De La Hoya was given lidocaine before getting stitches.

DuBoef said De La Hoya worked out again Thursday and was not bothered by the cut.

DE LA HOYA CONFIDENT: The smile was gone, and De La Hoya was in no mood to play any games. To those who thought he had no chance against Hopkins, though, De La Hoya had something to say.

No, he's not scared to be fighting a bigger, stronger fighter. And no, he didn't take the fight just for a $30-million payday.

And, yes, he planned to win.

"The reason I took this fight is I know I can win," De La Hoya said. "I'm not thinking of anything else because all I want is those belts. Believe me when I tell you, those belts are mine."

For the first time in his career, De La Hoya was an underdog in a fight that could end up the richest nonheavyweight bout ever.

It was only the second fight at middleweight for De La Hoya, and was against a champion who had defended his titles 18 times and hadn't lost in 11 years.

SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHTS: Humberto Soto's super-featherweight bout with Mexican countryman Jorge Solis was declared no contest Friday night in Las Vegas after Solis' cut from an accidental head butt became too bad for the fight to continue.

The scheduled 10-rounder was stopped after the third round, with Soto leading 29-27 on two of the three judges' scorecards and 30-26 on the third.

Soto, ranked third among featherweights by the WBC, dominated the abbreviated bout, knocking down Solis with a left to the head in the third round.

Soto is 35-5-2, and Solis 25-0-2. Both weighed in at 129 pounds.

CHARGES DROPPED VS. EX-CHAMP: Kidnapping and robbery charges against former WBA champion Antonio Cermeno were dropped Thursday in Caracas, Venezuela.

Judge Yarleny Martin dismissed the charges because the accuser failed to appear in court, according to a statement issued by a court in the coastal state of Vargas. Cermeno and another man were arrested and charged with robbing and kidnapping a man in Vargas on Oct. 31.

The Venezuelan became the junior featherweight champion by defeating Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez in May 1995.

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