Pacquiao calls back Freddie Roach to his corner after year-long schism

November 22, 2018 - 1:17 PM
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Manny Pacquiao training with Freddie Roach. (The STAR/Wendell Rupert Alinea)

After what appeared to be a short-lived split, boxer-senator Manny Pacquiao is wooing back long-time coach and trainer Freddie Roach back to his camp ahead of his coming fight with Adrien Broner.

The 58-year-old Roach, previously Pacquiao’s trainer for 16 years before the latter ended their partnership in July 2017, confirmed to the media that he will be returning to Pacquiao’s corner as a supervisor in the coming bout in January 2019.

“Manny reached out directly. We sat together one-on-one. I’ll be in his corner J,” Roach said through text in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

The two were last known to have communicated each other after Pacquiao’s loss to Jeff Horn in July 2017, after which the fighter-turned-legislator decided to form a training team without Roach.

Pacquiao at a press conference later clarified that his lead trainer during the Matthysse fight Bubuy Fernandez will retain lead training duties while Roach in turn oversees Fernandez’ training of Pacquiao.

“My idea is to let Buboy handle the mitts, and (Freddie) should just supervise and correct the training situation, or techniques, or anything like that,” Pacquiao said.

Roach admitted in previous media interviews that he had been hurt by Pacquiao’s lack of communication in severing ties before the latter decided to fight Lucas Mathysse in July 2018.

Pacquiao admitted at the conference that his busy schedule as a member of the Philippines’ upper chamber of congress kept him maintaining ties with Roach.

“It’s been a long time ago. A long time ago that I didn’t speak to Freddie. I was busy in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said

“I don’t even have time to come to United States for a vacation for relaxation. It’s really busy being a Senator,” he added.

News of the two teaming up once more has delighted those who followed the formidable partnership.

Buried hatchet?

Roach in an interview with the Los Angeles Times published in July 2018 admitted having gone through some struggles after Pacquiao severed times with him, due to his reputation taking a hit.

Despite his partner of 16 years’ sudden departure, Roach admitted during the interview that he wanted to resume his friendship with Pacquiao.

“Marriages haven’t lasted this long. If Manny asked me to get on a jet and train him for free, I’d be the first one on the plane. We have a lot of history. Manny’s my friend. Money … I have enough,” Roach said at the interview.

He congratulated Pacquiao after the latter’s TKO victory over Lucas Matthysse later that month. The victory for the 39-year-old pugilist was hailed by boxing analysts as a laudable comeback for the figher-turned-lawmaker from a series of lackluster performances in his recent fights.

Pacquiao is also expected to set a rematch with old rival Floyd Mayweather Jr., after that the two were seen trading barbs in Japan in September 2018.