It was just last week that Freddie Roach was quoted saying that he would not participate or help in any way if Manny Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov ended up facing each other. Roach suggested that in such an event, he would watch the fight on TV from home.
Things change, people re-evaluate and adjust their previously made promises, and in this case Freddie Roach decided he would indeed be a contributor in such a fight if it were to happen, and it would be as the head coach in Manny Pacquiao’s corner.
“I asked Ruslan whether he truly wanted to fight Pacquaio? He replied saying that he needs big fights. I then told him that I would give him such an opportunity, but he would lose me as a trainer, and his chance at success would be slim,” stated Freddie Roach.
This is neither surprising nor wrong. Roach has been a good friend and a loyal trainer to Pacquiao since day one, and he would always pick Manny over his entire stable of fighters.
For Provodnikov this would not only be an opportunity of a lifetime, but also the kind of popularity he has not yet experienced, and a paycheck that he would never be able to cash again. Sometimes friends end up meeting in a ring to face each other, but after a lifelong journey to the top, and millions upon million of dollars at stake, it just may be alright to put friendship on the side for one night’s work.
What is interesting is Freddie’s choice of words, saying that he would give Ruslan such an opportunity. Is the fight as good as ready to be signed? Has this matchup been discussed, finances squared away, and all other details agreed upon, with just Roach being the final roadblock?
It shouldn’t be too long before Pacquaio’s next opponent is announced, and I think that if it were to be Provodnikov, most boxing fans would have no problem with such an explosive matchup.