29.12.03 – By Keith Terceira: Freddie Roach (photo: Tom Casino/Showtime) was fuming today when we caught up with him at Wild Card Gym. I contacted him regarding reports that he has threatened to quit training Manny Pacquiao over finances from the Barrera bout. Freddie has just returned from Germany, where he worked Vladimir Klitschko’s victory over Nicholson. We asked him about his problems with Murad Muhammad.
Ronnie Nathanielsz of the Manila Standard Online is reporting you have threatened to quit Pac-man over money not paid to you. Is that accurate Freddie? “Yeh if I don’t get my full amount of money I was supposed to be getting there, my full percentage” Roach continued “According to the paperwork Manny was supposed to get $700,000, and he only got 350,000.”
I asked him if he knew what made the difference or if he had gotten a breakdown on the purse.
“No, the promoter Murad Muhammad took the rest” Roach stated “I have no idea what his reason for that was”
Freddie feels something is amiss in the handling of negotiations for upcoming bout for Pacquiao and was very outspoken on the issue.
“They have offered Manny a million dollars to fight Juan Miguel Marquez and I have a deal for 1.5 million against who ever the opponent might be”
Asked if Freddie’s deal may involved Johnny Tapia, Roach laughingly replied.
“He is one of the names mentioned but they mentioned the two bantamweight Champions as well, the one that beat Willie Jorrin, I forget his name right now, I mean its pretty obvious to me that there’s way more than a million dollars in a fight with Juan Miguel Marquez, so why fight the toughest guy out there for a million, for that cheap money. Well, somebody’s hiding where the real money is going, and you know we are trying to get an accounting now of everything from Murad, I’ve got a couple of lawyers working on getting the breakdown of where the money did go, we do have the facts, Manny does have a contract with Murad Muhammad, I think he is a breach of contract for not giving full disclosure”
Roach didn’t wish to continue on about Manny at this time but we did spend several minutes discussing James Toney and McCline. Asked how everything is shaping up for the fight, Roach replied, “good we start sparring today for the fight, we got a couple of big guys coming in, one guy from North Carolina, and then the kid Ray Austin 6-6 245 and I hear he’s going to give James some good work. James is motivated for the fight, he’s anxious and he has been doing a lot of conditioning. He hasn’t been sparring because I’ve been away working with Klitschko in Germany. But James has been doing his conditioning and roadwork, his weights not to bad, he’s staying within striking distance, so I’m happy with him.”
Roach who says he is having a lot of fun at this stage of his career touched on the heavyweight division and Toney’s prospects in it.
“Toney has a good chance to go through the heavyweight division, the Klitschko’s are making a little bit of noise, but James is very comfortable in the heavyweight division. He is a very talented guy , and so his speed is going to give a lot of these guys a little bit of trouble, and I think the McCline fight is going to tell us how he is going to do with the bigger guys, McCline’s a big guy.”
I asked if heart was going to make a big difference in the fight with Jameel.
“That will be the difference in this fight” Freddie agreed ” If you don’t have a heart James will expose that, in the McCline-Boswell fight, Boswell walked into a shot, James won’t do that”
We touched briefly on the rest of Freddie’s fighters and he commented this on Ben Dunne.
“Ben Dunne is in Ireland right now an will be back in a week and we will get him going again, his last fight was a good experience for him, he walked into one, you know its going to happen sooner or later,
But Ben got off the deck and he recovered well. The thing is these guys get a little cocky at times, it brings them back to reality.”