Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao are one of the greatest boxing trainer and fighter tandems.
They were together for over 16 years and the first fight the pair fought together was in 2001 for an IBF world title fight at 122 pounds as a late replacement against the champion Lehlo Ledwaba on HBO, ever since that victorious day they won more world titles and made millions together.
It was a sad sight to see when Pacquiao ousted Freddie from his camp and no longer used him for his fight with Lucas Matthysse. Rumors spread that Pacquiao was mad at Roach for no longer believing in him and hinting that he should retire after a rough controversial decision loss to Australian Jeff Horn.
Buboy Fernandez and Justin Fortune two long time staples in Pacman’s camp took over the helm for the Matthysse fight and Manny scored his first knockout in 9 years.
Although Manny looked amazing in his last fight, I can almost guarantee you that he missed Freddie in his corner. When you grew that close to someone you will not know how important they are until after you are away from them for a long period of time.
They were like father and son. If Pacquiao lost a figth, they lost together, no blaming each other like you see so often with fighters and trainer when they lose, they took their losses and went back to the drawing board.
Roach also looked out for Manny when he was getting swindled by his former promoter Murad Muhammad, and he was the only trainer on American soil to believe in his potential.
The two were made for each other and like Roach said their relationship as coach and fighter lasted longer than most marriages.
But just like some marriages, there is always a chance for reconciliation and maybe this time the time away helped both rekindle that bond of fighter and trainer.
When Pacquiao announced he would be working with Roach again it made fans of the two happy. This time Roach will come up with the gameplan and Buboy will do most of the mitt work to ease the physical burden on Freddie who is ailing with Parkinson’s.
Their first challenge together again will be against the young hungry 29 year old Adrien Broner who is a considered a Floyd Mayweather clone. He uses the same stance with the shell defense and team Pacquiao feels this would be a good match to help prepare him for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2019.
Fight fans are rooting for the 40 year old Filipino Senator and his long time trainer to make one last run at the welterweight division, it would be an amazing story if Pacquiao and Roach can unify the titles against the tough young champions Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Terence Crawford, it would be the cherry on top of an already long historical boxing career and could land Manny another “Fighter of the Decade” award.
Erwin Lastimosa is a long time boxing fan and enjoys discussion boxing with his peers.