Boxing


Did Roach make Pacquiao what he is today?

Vitali Shaposhnikov - I have met Freddie Roach a few times so far, and every time he manages to impress me more and more. Of course years back many people on the street would not recognize this man, unless somehow interested in boxing. Sure Freddie was always a decent trainer, but his stock soared after picking up Manny Pacquiao. Roach did work with some amazing fighters previously, such as Mike Tyson, Virgil Hill, Israel Vasquez, Michael Moorer, Wlad Klitschko, James Toney, and Oscar De La Hoya. All of the above mentioned are world known names, which shocked the boxing scene numerous times, but not a single one of them did for Freddie what Manny was able to do, and vice versa..

Since with Manny, their relationship and success has been unquestioned. Imagining Roach and Pacquiao not working together seems virtually impossible, almost surreal. Together, they seem unstoppable. What seems to be the most interesting aspect in their professional relationship is how they boost each other’s image and opinion in the public eye.

When talking about and discussing Pacquiao’s future opponents, I hear a lot of people “blaming/predicting” a win for Manny because he has the ultimate weapon in boxing: coach Roach. With Freddie, a lot of people feel safe and assured that Manny is going to come in, dominate, and go celebrate his victory in Philippines. Sometimes it feels like people don’t think Pacquiao would be as great without his buddy Roach. Things become even more exciting, when Freddie, with a confident yet relaxed face expression, predicts a knockout for Manny. Not only does Freddie like to predict, but he loves to be very specific, identifying the round of the knockout. This drives Pacman fans wild, and heats up the crowd for the event. This time against Margarito, Freddie took his words a bit further, stating that he will be very disappointed in Manny if the fight doesn’t end with him knocking out Antonio.

Roach seems to be getting a return in his investment into Pacquiao as well. When folks talk about Freddie as a coach, they always mention Manny as his golden trophy (which makes sense). When new fighters emerge and see some success to their boxing, they immediately attempt to get Roach’s attention. Why not? Roach is a great trainer, and could possibly do for them what he did for Pacquiao. Even looking at Amir Khan, Freddie seems to be doing an awesome job. There are a ton of good trainers out there, but they don’t have Pacquiao, do they? Freddie always told me that the only reason he is getting all this attention and popularity is due to the great outcomes with his stable of fighters. But he also says that the only reason for their mutual success is themselves. He said to me that every fighter he has ever had who went far, did so because they are talented and determined. He works on the little things and strategy, but has no doubt that they would go far without him if need be.

This is just something I started noticing when talking to random people about the amazing duo. Most believe that one without the other would not work at all. A big part of the general boxing public sees the birth of Pacquiao when he was turned over to Freddie for “raising.” Personally I don’t want to believe so, as I think that every fighter’s success is due to the earliest part of their training, and the rest is detail polishing. Manny is a tremendous athlete, and is focused as well as determined for every fight no matter what circumstances he comes across. November is coming up, and people are excited to see what Freddie and Manny cooked up for the Tornado this time.

Thanks for reading.

Article posted on 28.09.2010



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