Manny Pacquiao looking to drop Roach?Written by Lee Cleveland
Is one of the most successful, more endearing fighter-trainer relationships in boxing history coming to an end?
Following Manny Pacquiao's controversial upset loss to Jeff Horn, things appear to be unraveling on Team PacMan.
Once a humble servant of the Philippines, Pacquiao unleashed a bit a resentment when the WBO recently stated it supported the decision of the judges to reward Horn with the victory over him on July 1.
“We have seen worse judgments in the past where judges manipulated results," a disappointed Pacquiao uttered.
“Nothing surprises me now.”
Manny's reply followed his previous accusations of wrongdoing and corruption, and suggests this PacMan is a far cry from the remarkably calm fella who endured the undeserved loss to Tim Bradley so well.
Manny, is everything OK?
... Apparently not.
Now, longtime trainer Freddie Roach insists he hasn't been paid for the Horn fight and that Manny's attitude towards him is cold.
"He was definitely avoiding me [after the bout]," Roach recently told FoxSports.
“I really don’t know if he’s mad at me,” Roach says. “But I can tell you this: I haven’t been paid yet. So who knows?”
This is not good.
Will Roach return for Pacquiao vs Horn 2? And why is there a presumed rift between the two men?
Who knows if Freddie will return? Manny isn't in good spirits since losing to Horn.
In Freddie's Defense
Roach is dealing with a different Pacquiao - A fighter who has known nothing but success for a very long time who can't make sense of what happened on July 1. Now, for the first time ever, the great legend must deal with the harsh reality that he's slipping a bit.
... And his obligations to the Senate only make things worse.
Trainer Roach and promoter Bob Arum, way back in 2011 or 2012, expressed deep concern should Manny win a Senate seat.
"He's gonna run for Senate in the Philippines in 2016 ... and then in 2022 or maybe later, he'll run for President of the Philippines," Arum told TMZ several years ago.
And Roach added, "We are going to lose Manny Pacquiao to politics, for sure. "It's just a matter of time."
“Being a congressman, it seemed like Manny really wasn’t pressed or challenged by it,” Roach said.
“But being a senator, he’s like a whole different person. It takes a lot of his time, and the thing is, the first half of training camp wasn’t the best... Being a great fighter and being a great person in politics, it’s just very, very difficult to do both, I feel," Roach told USA Today.
Prior to and after Pacquaio's performance against Horn, Roach has stated the obvious, insisting Manny can't fulfill his obligations to the Senate and expect to defeat elite level opponents.
Is Jeff Horn even elite?
All that stated, Manny's presumed beef with Freddie is a bit understandable.
In Manny's defense
Freddie Roach talks a lot and probably discloses things to the media he shouldn't.
In May, when Pacquiao was prepping for Horn, Roach told Manila Times: "“We are far behind. Those five rounds of sparring were the worst I have seen him spar."
And after the fight, Roach presumably informed some in the media about a conversation he planned to have with Manny, disclosing some of the details.
While it's great Freddie 'shoots from the hip,' there are some things that should remain confidential between a trainer and his fighter. Freddie should have talked to Manny first and the media second.
If Manny received tidbits of information second-hand, he probably felt disrespected.
In addition, the legendary trainer 'spilled the beans' on the chaos in Manny's corner during the Horn fight.
“It’s hard when Buboy is yelling, and (cutman) Miguel (Diaz) is telling me he has to get in the middle to work on the cuts,” Roach said.
"And to get my message across to Manny, what he should be doing is very difficult. Miguel is getting older and he has trouble getting in and out of the ring, and Buboy gets excited. Control in that corner has always been a little difficult.”
Manny should accept that he'll be 39 in December and isn't as young as spring time anymore. In addition, his body has a lot of wear and tear. He's been fighting since he was a young boy and has generated a lot of miles on the dashboard.
HOWEVER, Manny Pacquiao, when focused and ready, is still one of the best fighters in the world. I have no doubt Manny could soundly defeat Horn in their rematch, but to do that would require being less of a senator and more of a fighter for the next few months.
Is that option available?
As for Roach, he should keep a lot of his insight and advice confidential to his fighter. Manny has helped him a great deal and there are things that are best left private between Manny and Freddie. If anyone deserves that courtesy, it's Manny Pacquiao.
Let's hope these great men of boxing will stay together until the end.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.