Freddie Roach has worked with over 30 world champions over his career as a trainer. He is a 7-time recipient of the Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year award and he has been Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s trainer since Pacquiao had arrived in the US. Together they had conquered 8 divisions and collected belts from 112 to 154 but on April 9 they will approach the ring together for one of the last times. Beginning their partnership in the late 1990’s, Pacquiao and Roach commanded the attention of the boxing world with a shocking victory over big favorite and IBF super bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Their next fight was a disappointing technical draw against Agapito Sanchez, but they followed this with one of the greatest streaks in boxing history. With a record of 21-1-1 over the course of the next decade, Manny Pacquiao and Freddy Roach became one of the greatest boxing partnerships of all time.
Things have not become easier for the pair of Pacquiao and Roach in recent years as they have gone 3-3 since 2012. One of those losses was a controversial split decision to his opponent this coming April, Timothy Bradley.
Also known as “Desert Storm”, Bradley has insisted that he won the first meeting with Pacquiao. However, the rematch ended in a unanimous decision for the Filipino star. For the 3rd bout in the trilogy Bradley has made a change that he believed necessary, replacing his trainer Joel Diaz with Teddy Atlas. Atlas, who has worked for ESPN as a color commentator in recent years looks to bring back the basics in Bradley’s mechanics. He served as a motivator in the pair’s first bout against Brandon Rios, pushing Bradley to eventually stop Rios, who has never been KO’d before.
As the evening of April 9th approaches, Roach and Atlas are both doing their best to ready their fighters for a violent confrontation. Both believe they have the better man, and both will be pushing for a violent end to the fight.
By Rey Fortaleza