By Dexter Reyes
Freddie Roach was highly touted by the media as one of the best trainers in the world, he won many awards from multiple trainer of the year awards, and recently getting inducted into the boxing hall of fame but was all this praise too soon? Did Roach get hyped up only to be exposed as a sub par trainer who doesn’t choose the right sparring partners or defensive strategy for his fighters? I believe so.
I was really high on Amir Khan, I felt he had the speed and the athleticism to really become a polished boxer, but in his recent fights he did more slugging and running than boxing. Khan shared a similar in and out style to Manny Pacquiao his stablemate at the Wild Card gym, but the problem was Khan didn’t have the chin that Pacquiao possesses or the power, and he paid the price of getting knocked out for using a similar style.
Roach is a good trainer, but lately he seems to be very repetitive on the mitts, just focusing on teaching his fighters to throw a lot of punches and moving out to the side, and his choice of sparring partners are baffling. Why would he pick flat footed sparring partners who have no defense and just come forward when preparing for slick boxers? I had wondered if Roach had just gotten lazy and caught up in his own news clippings and fame that he doesn’t bother studying tape or choosing proper sparring anymore? It seems that way.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. just lost a lop sided decision to Sergio Martinez, Chavez Jr. almost came back with a last minute knockout in the 12th round by dropping Martinez, but it was too little, too late, and Martinez got the rightful victory and thankfully wasn’t robbed on the cards like Pacquiao was against Timothy Bradley. Chavez Jr. didn’t have the right strategy going into the fight, he also didn’t spar slick boxers or runners, he had basic come forward sparring partners, why would you pick these sparring partners if you know the guy you are a fighting is a mover who fights backing up? Roach also picked nothing but brawling boxers for Manny Pacquiao when he fought Timothy Bradley, I think Roach even suggested that he didn’t worry about Bradley running because Bradley only knows how to fight one way and that is aggressive, well that shows me that Roach has no idea who Bradley is and didn’t do his homework because other trainers have said that Bradley can adjust and become very slick in fights, even the fans could tell you that after watching a few Timothy Bradley fights, Roach didn’t see it at all and a good trainer would have seen that Bradley would probably try and box backing up against Pacquiao. Roach should have hired nothing but fast, slick, boxers to spar Pacquiao and teach him to set traps and cut off the ring because Pacquiao is easy to counter when he lunges in.
Roach has had three chances to figure out Juan Manuel Marquez, and all three times he failed to deliver. If you can’t figure out Marquez, than that means you have no clue on how to help Manny Pacquiao against Marquez a fourth time. I noticed that Marquez doesn’t cover up at all, did Roach notice this? Other boxing trainers have noticed this, and Marquez will feint before punching making Manny cover up and once Manny drops his guard Marquez attacks and backs away after firing a combo. I think Pacquiao has the skills to beat Marquez, its just that he has hit a knowledge plateau with Freddie Roach, but out of loyalty he still stays with him at the expense of his career and legacy. Pacquiao hasn’t delivered an impressive performance in a while, and he hasn’t done much to figure out Marquez, maybe it’s time for a change in trainer.
Amir Khan just announced that he left Roach after he was knocked out by Danny Garcia, I strongly feel that Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. after their losses should follow and find a trainer who has a defensive mind and can come up with good strategies and bring in the proper sparring partners to prepare them for their opponents style. Roach isn’t the only trainer out there, there are many trainers who are just as capable but don’t get the same recognition and praise from the media that Roach does.
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