Don’t ever fall in love with a fighter is something you hear sweet science veterans say from time to time. There is a lot of wisdom in that old adage which is based on experience and countless broken hearts. However, five time recipient of the Trainer of the Year award, Freddie Roach did not get that memo in his boxing booklet.
“Everything I do is to his benefit to win the fight and he knows that and I am behind him one hundred percent,” said Roach about his star student, Manny Pacquiao during the final episode of HBO’s 24/7:”I would die for Manny Pacquiao.” That is something I could only say about my son.
Manny stumbled into Freddie’s gym about ten years ago to get a work out. They both knew it was a match made in heaven after one round of working mitts. A month later Manny Pacquiao was introduced to American fight fans on national television in a title fight with African super bantamweight champion, Lehnohonolo Ledwaba. What caught my eye in that massacre was speed and explosiveness of a wild swinging offensive machine, they called Pacman. Little did I know that ten years later Manny Pacquiao would be on the very top of the boxing universe. Most experts credit Freddie Roach for developing Pacquiao into a complete fighter he is today. Just as humble as his charge, former fighter turned coach, Roach believes that when the student is ready the teacher appears.
“Manny Pacquiao will go down as one of the best ever and they will call me the best coach because I had the opportunity to work with him,” said Roach,52 ;”But believe me if he didn’t have the talent I wouldn’t be much.”
So during their ten year marriage of sorts, Pacquiao has only lost once, over six years ago to Erik Morales. That’s when Freddie Roach decided to develop Pacquiao’s right hand. Manny has avenged that loss with two brutal knock out victories over Erik Morales and has been destroying a list of Hall of Fame fighters ever since. Today Manny will get to settle the score with the man who has given him the most trouble, Juan Manuel Marquez. They both weighed in under the contracted 144 pounds limit yesterday for their long awaited showdown inLas Vegas.
“Somewhere in the world there is a fighter better than yours,” said Marquez’s trainer, Nacho Beristain, who believes he trains that fighter.