Freddie Roach: Tout de suite

By Robert Ecksel on December 20, 2012
Freddie Roach: Tout de suite
Freddie Roach wasn't apologetic, but he may be sugarcoating a crushing defeat. (AP)

It has been a tough year for Freddie Roach. Although HBO’s “On Freddie Roach” turned him into a household name, no mean feat for a trainer and something he acknowledges with a laugh and shrug of the shoulders, it wasn’t in households where he earned his stripes, but in a gym and the squared circle.

Three of Freddie’s top fighters were hit hard this year, with possibly disastrous consequences. On Sept. 15 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. met his comeuppance at the very capable fists of Sergio Martinez. Some of us this saw this coming, but it hit many like a bat out of hell. Amir Khan was TKO’d by Danny Garcia in July, following a loss to Lamont Peterson seven months earlier, which led to one of the more nasty boxing divorces in recent memory. And three short weeks ago Manny Pacquiao, the undisputed king of Roach’s stable, was brutally KO’d by Juan Manuel Marquez, a knockout that will or will not dramatically affect his future performances.

Popularity runs hot and cold in boxing. That’s as true for trainers as it is for fighters. It’s not as overt as Baskin-Robbins Flavor of the Month, but it sometimes feels that way. Fight fans are a fickle lot. Does anyone remember when Buddy McGirt was being lionized as the trainer’s trainer? No one hears that anymore. Attention has shifted, and perhaps rightfully so, to Robert Garcia, and more recently Virgil Hunter. spoke with Freddie Roach about Manny’s loss. He wasn’t apologetic, not that apologies are called for, but he may be sugarcoating a crushing defeat.

“He was fighting the best fight he’s fought in a long time,” said Roach accurately. “The thing is he got a little anxious and walked into one. It happens in boxing. Like Manny told me, ‘If you don’t think you can lose in this sport, you picked the wrong sport.’ And he understands that and he knows it. And we’d like to do it again sometime down the line,” possibly in September, “but right now I want him to take a nice rest and recover completely from that punch. That was a devastating punch and he knows it was his fault. He jumped in from too far away and made a mistake but he was fighting a great fight and I would love to do it again.”

Roach was one of those who didn’t want a fourth fight, let alone a fifth fight. He felt it was all said and done between Pacquiao and Marquez.

Freddie Roach feels that way no longer. But will it be any different if they fight a fifth time?

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  1. Mike Schmidt 05:28am, 12/22/2012

    Money May is a unique ,unique fighter- adapability -Option A does not work, go to option B, option B does not work, go to option C…...........getting past the urban legend that he does not take the tough ones- go back thru his record back in lightweight days- he has fought a whole lot of tough guys- Manny fought Hatton, Mosley, Oscar, Marquez- hey Bodyshots WTF lookee lookee SO DID MONEY- AND NO I AM NOT A MANNY HATER- my good buddy Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool has been saying year after year that Money slaps Manny around and for year after year I have not disagreed- -Now having said that and getting back to Freddy- you ride what got you there as long as it works- it aint working anymore so NOW some not to subtle adjustments better be made to Manny- AND I still say a guy like NACHO who has molded so many fighters from when they were weeee lads first entering the gym- well now THAT IS A NUMBER UNO GUY- a whole one hell of a difference than getting a guy mid way thru his career - a whole lot of difference- I don’t know the answer to thsi but I am asking- “Who has Freddy trained, from scratch, first entering a gym, and taken to the promised land- GIMME THE ANSWER BODYSHOTS . AND I AM NOT A FREDDY HATER- I have met Freddy up here in Canada and down in Vegas- a great guy and hey don’t bust on the guy for riding along the travelling band of publicity and dinero- good for Freddy- a lifetime commit to boxing and well deserved- AND MY LAST AND ROBERT GARCIA TRAINER OF THE YEAR AS HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN LAST YEAR THANK YER VERY MUCH SIRS

  2. Bodyshots 03:17pm, 12/21/2012

    SCHMIDT, the moment Roach and Pacquiao* challenged Marquez to “stand and fight”, the pendulum swung in Marquez’s favor. quite simply, Roach should’ve known and that crowding Marquez is NOT the recommended fight-plan to defeat him. Marquez has always been at his best when pounding the ferocity out of hard-charging opponents (Katsidis, Diaz, “Pitbull” Jandaeng, and now Pacquiao*). even in “losing” rounds during which Marquez is splitting beams, loosening screws, and crunching the cornerstones of an opponent’s physical foundation while gradually exposing their weakest links. the poised, disciplined, and ring-smart Mayweather employed the opposite fight-plan and transformed Marquez into a routine opponent for a routine “W”. however, Pacquiao* is light-years behind Mayweather in terms of boxing skills, adaptability, and ring-smarts. compared to Floyd and any other elite fighter, Manny* remains a ring-dumb, single-fisted, one-dimensional, and predictable puncher and THAT is the fighter that Marquez confidently prepared to face and KTFO, thanks to Freddie Roach.

  3. Mike Schmidt 08:47am, 12/21/2012

    Don’t mess with bodyshots.

  4. the thresher 08:16am, 12/21/2012

    Harsh but not way off the mark.

  5. Bodyshots 10:57pm, 12/20/2012

    i never bought into the Freddie hype. although, i’m particularly hype-proof. Roach is as one-dimensional as his fighters (or is it the other way around?). the one and only thing that Roach does very well is to physically prepare his fighters for 12 grueling rounds of action. otherwise, he is apparently incapable of learning or teaching any new to this fighers, e.g., “He was fighting the best fight he’s fought in a long time”? how can that possibly be true when Pacquiao* was dropped in the third round, lost the fourth round, and was KTFO in the sixth? Pacquiao* wasn’t even able to remain on his feet or in control of his senses for more than six rounds(?!). it was literally his WORST performance of the entire rivalry. claiming to be impressed by Pacquiao’s* performance v. a notoriously resilient and adaptable Marquez in a few isolated rounds is nothing less than deceptive spin-control by Roach who is notorious for pre- and post-fight spin regardless of the odds or outcome. the most potent weapon in Roach’s arsenal is promotional clout. otherwise, we can confidently conclude that Pacquiao* would’ve never dared move beyond lightweight without Arum’s corrupting influence. while many question or lament Roach’s demise, he never arrived in my book.

  6. NYIRISH 05:18pm, 12/20/2012

    Freddie is not quick enough to work the corners anymore. The disease has slowed him. I first noticed when Khan returned hurt to the corner and not much happened. You only have a minute.

  7. the thresher 11:49am, 12/20/2012

    If Roach could not teach Manny how to handle JMM’s counter punching by now, he will never be able to. Garcia had made over Maidana. That’s an awesome thing to do for a trainer. Freddie focuses on offense but does not seem to make major adjustments when they are required. I really am a great Roach fan, but reality plays no tricks, nor does Father time.

  8. the thresher 11:45am, 12/20/2012

    Meinhard has the beat

  9. Sean 11:03am, 12/20/2012

    On an unrelated note: Has anyone (readers of Dante) noticed how Virgil’s name is so eerily apt for a boxing trainer?

  10. Meinhard Schmidt 10:12am, 12/20/2012

    Someone like Roach is not able to retire, maybe he should retire from training world-class boxers and focus more on beginners. He is a very good teacher and will be even with his damn Parkinson´s worsening. i´m convinced that this man has a lot of knowledge to pass still. with that said his denomination as something like “best trainer ever” was wrong and a product of Manny´s success as well as the “short-lived”, hype-orientated media-machine! Pacquiao is a one-of a kind- type of boxer, hell he would have been a superstar with almost every coach, i always said that. Guys like him or Ali for that matter are more “self-taught” than everything else, they only need a coach to help them with some small things and keeping them motivated and stuff.

  11. the thresher 09:24am, 12/20/2012

    Freddie is as done as Pac. Time to move on and manage Wild Card while others step in and do the training and corner work.

    Too many awards in too short of time did Freddie no good from a perception standpoint. BWAA, IBHOF, HBO, etc were all well and good but in the meantime, Freddie’s fighters were imploding.

    Roach has been a world-class trainer. Time to retire with that as a legacy. Time to let Hunter, Garcia, Scully, and others move in and do the heavy lifting. Time to honor Nacho as maybe the best one out there right now. Results mean more to me than popularity.

    Just saying…...

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