No need to remind boxing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach about his recent string of losses; he is definitely aware of it. Gone is Amir Khan after two straight losses. The USA Boxing team stunk it up in London. Jorge Linares, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and even Manny Pacquiao are coming off losses under the legendary coach’s watch.
Some say Roach has been spread to thin in recent years after taking on a lot more responsibilities, even juggling a reality show somewhere in between. Others say Roach’s style and system has simply been figured out by the opposition, and his failure to adjust on the fly has contributed to his fighters’ failures.
Well like a popular saying in sports goes: “Players win championships; coaches lose them.” So it’s really not surprising if people started pointing fingers at this era’s most-celebrated boxing trainer and make him feel like the rapper Akon. “You can put the blame on me,” Roach has said in many interviews taking responsibility for his boxers’ losses, like the stand-up guy he is.
If you ask me, it’s nonsense. Roach can teach, but he can’t take punches for guys like Khan, nor force Pacquiao or Chavez to stick to cutting their opponents in the ring. The best way Roach can apologize by going back to what he does best: Win.
And what better way to go back on the winning track as bandwagon fighters abandon him, than to win with the fighter who brought him most of his prestige in the first place? And to do it against their arch-nemesis and the biggest test he and his prized pupil has ever had to hurdle? Everybody loves a comeback story, and Roach is due for one soon.
Perhaps it is why Roach has demanded nothing but the best from Pacquiao for his camp against Juan Manuel Marquez for their fourth fight on December 8. Roach not only plans to throw away his old game plan and formulate a new one from scratch, he has ordered Pacquiao to train at the Wild Card Gym for the entirety of this camp.
No Baguio, no last minute congressional meetings in Manila, no TV show tapings; It’s like 2005 all over again. And why not? Pacquiao after all, promised to bring back the 25-year-old lion in the ring that he was during that time. And to do that, the tandem are going back to their original regimen, which both are banking on to bring them back to their old sensational winning ways.
- CLICK HERE to watch a video report on Pacquiao’s preliminary training in General Santos City.
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