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Manny Pacquiao and Roach split: Mistakes that got Freddie fired

Lee Cleveland Updated
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After one of the most successful fighter/trainer stints in all of boxing, Manny Pacquiao and his mentor, Freddie Roach, have parted ways.

Roach will not be involved in Manny's preparations for the legend's July showdown with Lucas Matthysse and seems to have been permanently ousted from Team Pacquiao.

So, what happened?

For starters, Manny dropped a controversial decision to Jeff Horn, a fella who didn't belong in the same ring, in his most recent fight.

Pacquiao, of course, was looking for answers and probably not realizing that he should shoulder most of the blame for his performance. His senatorial duties come before boxing these days so what does he expect in the ring, performance-wise?

Fighters often want to blame their trainer when things don’t go as planned and that might be part of the reason Pacquiao fired Roach.

... But, what really got Roach fired was his mouth.

Pre-Horn fight
Five and one-half weeks shy of his title defense against then-heavy underdog Jeff Horn, Trainer Freddie Roach, usually PacMan's biggest cheerleader, made his concerns very public.

“We are far behind. Those five rounds of sparring were the worst I have seen him spar,” said Roach to the Manila Times.

“Manny has not had a knockout for a long time. He got to show here in the sparring that he wants to knock him down. So, I don’t know, I cannot predict that anymore."

Upon learning of Roach's comments, Horn was very pleased as Roach’s statements undoubtedly served as a small confidence boost for the young Aussie.

Post-Horn fight
After the Horn bout, Freddie also made some very public statements that should have been said to Manny in private.

Roach informed some in the media about a conversation he'd planned to have with Manny, disclosing some of personal details.

But , Freddie should have known he should have had that conversation with Manny first; Moreover, even after that conversation had taken place the media didn't need to know everything that was said.

"Fight a rematch with Horn, otherwise retire," Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, speaking of his pupil Manny Pacquiao, recently told TMZ.

"Fighters get old overnight, he did okay in the fight, but just okay, and just okay isn't good enough."

Announcing to the world Manny is over-the-hill was certainly not in the legend's best promotional interest, Freddie. Moreover, it gives future opponents added hope.

And another...
"He was definitely avoiding me [after the bout]," Roach told FoxSports a few days after the Horn bout.

“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?”

C'mon Freddie. It was also a bad move to cast your boss in a negative light that way. Again, although you meant well, it was disrespectful.

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 at all.

If at all...

After many years of working together, Manny deserved that courtesy.

Lost the corner, too?
In a weak attempt to try to defend himself after the Horn fiasco, Roach also mistakenly admitted he lost control of the corner.

“It’s hard when Buboy is yelling, and (cut man) 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.”

But that's your job, Freddie, as the chief second. What happens in a fighter's corner starts and ends with his head trainer.

The chief second (i.e. you) is responsible for managing roles in the corner and making sure everything goes as smooth as possible.

It seems one of the most successful, more endearing fighter/trainer relationships in boxing history has ended.

Although Roach may never work Manny’s corner again, let's hope these great men of boxing settle their differences one day.


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