Freddie Roach’s Experience

By Ben Thomsett on December 14, 2018
Freddie Roach’s Experience
This week Freddie told a tale about his night a couple of weeks ago in Tyson Fury’s corner.

Freddie Roach has insight. Not many would argue with that statement. He’s been in the game long enough to have seen it all…

Never blindly side with Freddie Roach. Or fate. And take your position as a carer with seriousness. Those were the lessons I’ve learned this week. Some via reading the boxing news feeds, others via close personal insight.

Freddie Roach has insight. Not many would argue with that statement. He’s been in the game long enough to have seen it all. Ben Davison (Tyson Fury’s trainer) hasn’t. Of course, you can’t change time, and experience only comes with, well, experience, but Freddie showed us how an old head and a grizzled and prosaic approach to being in a fighter’s corner can potentially turn a fight. I hadn’t witnessed the event taking place, but this week Freddie told a tale about his night a couple of weeks ago in Tyson Fury’s corner. At the time I thought Ben Davison was on his way out—mistrusted to handle the golden goose at laying time—and Freddie was being ushered in as a safe pair of hands to hold tightly onto the most hard to hold boxer still working at elite level.

The moment when experience and care collided in the Fury corner came at the second knockdown to Deontay Wilder. Here’s how Freddie described it:

“He (Davison) was crying, he was. He thought for sure that he wasn’t going to get up and he was really worried. The inspectors in the corners really had to hold him down and settle him down. He wanted to go into the ring and take care of his fighter, but if you go in that ring it’s an automatic disqualification. So we had to hold him down and let it play out.”

There is a line, I guess, a very thin and unstable one, between caring, and the ability to sit back and let someone you care about deal with whatever is presented to him/her. Some people call that experience. In this case, Davison wanted to save his friend regardless and Roach wanted to see if Tyson could win through. Who was right in that situation in the moments before Tyson opened his eyes and rose up from the floor like Boris Karloff heading off into the night from his tomb? It’s a question that can’t be answered without argument. And I’m too tired right now from lack of sleep to argue.

My elderly father-in-law has just had his leg amputated after being hit by a bus. According to the doctors, and considering all his other injuries, and his age, they told us they couldn’t believe how he’d survived. My partner had to give her permission for the amputation to take place. How’s that for laughs? He nearly died and he’s still not out of the danger zone. I’ve become as familiar with the Major Trauma Unit as I am with my own bedroom. We weren’t prepared for something like this. There hasn’t been much sleep around here for a good many days. Now we’re experts on care and knockdowns and the fear of someone close to you being hurt beyond what karma should have dealt them. We would have needed holding back, too. We were novices. We had zero experience.

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  1. NYIrish 02:30pm, 12/18/2018

    Poise and guile in the corner is invaluable to a fighter. Live microphones have not helped the weaker and more egocentric “trainers.” They think it’s about them. Yelling cussing and mfking in the precious minute between rounds does not help a professional fighter. The best know the game and their fighters. They do most all their shouting in the gym.
    Al Gavin, the renowned cutman did more in Mickey Wards corner than keep his face together in his fights with Gatti. His words were a calming influence and a boost in confidence. Charlie Goldman, Whitey Bimstien Freddie Brown, Angelo Dundee and Emanual Steward are some that set the bar. Freddie Roach is right there with them.

  2. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 10:48am, 12/15/2018

    “Never seen a man killed by one shot to the head?” People die more often than you think from one punch. A lot of times they die from their head being struck on a hard floor or concrete after being felled by the punch, but people can and do die from “one shot to the head.”  Human beings are quite fragile.

  3. Thrashem 09:00am, 12/15/2018

    Ali was smooth as butter: Fury waltzes like a drunken Irishman. No comparison! No one can punch while in retreat. He is only there to outpoint and not to engage as good fighters do and is as entertaining as watching paint dry.
    If your fighter goes down there is nothing cornerman can do anyway. The fighter wasn’t shot or executed. Never seen a man killed by one shot to the head. Plus, there isn’t anything between Tyson’s ears to damage.

  4. korokan 12:15am, 12/15/2018

    roach, with his experience, demonstrated his professionalism during the fight.  he experienced much worse than that particularly during pac-jmm IV.  in any competition, what makes an athlete loses a game is when his emotion prevails.  and roach is just professional enough to maintain poise and keep his objectivity.

  5. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 01:01pm, 12/14/2018

    I saw the same interview and Roach also stated that Fury would have knocked Wilder out had his corner told the Gypsy King to press Wilder more and be a bit more offensive minded. I think Roach was spot on here as well. Wilder can be taken out and I still say the guy’s chin is suspect. Fury, while not a great puncher, has adequate power, and I feel he could have used that extra size and strength to rough up Wilder instead of dancing and imitating Ali for the entire fight. This should have been such an easy fight for Fury. Fury should be able to take the rematch with no problems.

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