Roach,Pacquiao,Arum-A Winning Team
By Clive Bernath: Regardless of whether you are one of boxing’s top pound for pound superstars or a fledgling prospect taking that all important step up in class, preparation, peace of mind and a harmonious training camp is vital in preserving a fighter’s focus and mindset in the build up to a big fight.
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao faces Puerto Rican tough guy Miguel Cotto in arguably the toughest and most important fight of his career in Las Vegas on November 14 so it is very alarming to say the least to read that there has been various reports in the boxing media regarding problems with the relationship between Pacquiao and inspirational trainer Freddie Roach.
If you believe the reports it appears the Filipino legend is planning to set up training camp in Baguio City rather than Roach’s preferred choice of Toluca in Mexico. Ideally Pacquiao would train at Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles but because of the American tax system Pacquiao must train all but three weeks outside of the US to avoid being hit financially in the pocket too heavily.
According to reports Roach is having trouble reaching Pacquiao, stating that his phone calls are being left unanswered. Speaking to the Asian Journal in a recent interview Roach said: “If they don’t want me to be the trainer anymore that’s fine with me. Do it yourself.”
However, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum does not seem bothered with recent rumours surrounding his star performer and told the respected Ring Magazine: “This always happens with a big, superstar fighter.
“People around him want to protect their territory. Manny loves Freddie but he’s also loyal to these guys as well. When Manny is in training camp, Freddie’s the boss. These guys don’t want Freddie to be the boss when he’s not in training. They think that usurps their territory.”
“I just sit back, watch it all and try to keep peace. I try not to get too excited.
Of course the 77 year-old Top Rank promoter has a wise head and has seen it all before but surely if all the reports are true the unrest cannot be good for Pacquiao?
It would be totally inconceivable to even contemplate Pacquiao facing Cotto without the knowledge and inspiration of Freddie Roach in his corner. I accept that Pacquiao is the man doing the fighting but lets not forget that it was Roach’s invaluable talent as a master tactician that no doubt contributed to Pacquiao destroying both Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton the way he did. There is no doubt that Pacquiao and Roach make for a successful partnership, Roach is the expert in planning the opponent’s downfall while Pacquiao executes the plan to perfection. Against Cotto, the lightening fast and impressively accurate Pacquiao will need Roach in the gym and his corner more than ever and Manny will only be too aware of it.
September 10, 2009