Pac, Roach at loggerheads over reunion

November 21, 2018
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he hopes to be reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach for his January bout against Adrien Broner but admitted he had not spoken to the veteran cornerman about renewing their partnership.

Pacquiao ended a 16-year association with Roach ahead of his victory over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts.

However the 39-year-old raised eyebrows during a press conference in New York on Monday when he said Roach would be back in his corner for his January 19 fight against Broner in Las Vegas.

Roach though expressed bemusement about Pacquiao’s announcement in remarks to Sports Illustrated, saying he had not been in contact with his former protege.

“I still have never directly spoken to Manny (since 2017),” Roach said.

“I’m not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I’ve been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can’t call me, there will be no deal.”

When asked to clarify the situation by AFP on Tuesday, Pacquiao said he hoped Roach would work as a “supervisor”, with long-time associate Buboy Fernandez taking a lead role in training.

“I don’t have any problem with Freddie Roach,” Pacquiao said at a media roundtable. “All I say is that I think the other work in training should be assigned or designated to Buboy.

“Freddie can supervise or instruct Buboy, this is what we’re going to do.”