Philippines, 23 Jul 2019
  Home >> News >> List of Articles >> Joaquin Henson

Search Boxer:
First Name
Last Name






FIGHT RESULTS            


HOUSE NEWS                






BOXING GYMS               



Dong Secuya
Web Editor

Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Contributing Editor

Homer D. Sayson
NBA Section Editor

Ronnie Nathanielsz

Rich Mazon

Eddie Alinea

Epifanio M. Almeda

Anthony Andales

Jason Aniel

Hesiquio Balderas

Sid Bañez

Brett Bonetti

Marlon Bernardino

Winchell Campos

Socrates Celestial

T. Chin-Te

Carlos Costa

Christopher Cruz

Rob Cruz

Jonathan Davis

Dr. Ed de la Vega

Lito delos Reyes

Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Edwin G. Espejo

Dennis U. Eroa

Ron Galarpe

Joaquin Henson

Oliver Iglesias

Dionis Jacobe

Ted Lerner

Salven Lagumbay

Reylan Loberternos

Mike Angel Lopez

Salvador Lopez

Joan Secuya-Medida

Ryan Medida

Rico Navarro

Rod Mijares

Manny Pacquiao

Gerry Peñalosa

Greg R. Penilla, M.D.

Gov. Manny Piñol

Dr. Allan Recto

Hermie Rivera

Emmanuel T. Rivera

Virgi T. Romano

Nicholai R. Roska

Maloney L. Samaco

Sev Sarmenta

Reynaldo Seno

Myron Sta. Ana

Atty. Danrex Joseph V. Tapdasan

Recah Trinidad

Reni M. Valenzuela

Mark F. Villanueva

List of Articles by Joaquin Henson

Roach’s mom says hard work pays off

By Joaquin Henson
01 May 2014

LOS ANGELES – For Barbara Roach, the secret to success in life lies in hard work and she said yesterday it’s the reason why her son Freddie has become a legendary boxing trainer.

“I’m proud of Freddie,” said the 78-year-old mother of seven children, including five boys. “He’s been very lucky. He works very hard. I’m happy that Freddie and Manny (Pacquiao) work well together. Maybe, they would’ve been as successful without each other or maybe not. Manny’s a wonderful person, kind, humble. Freddie has often asked me to visit the Philippines with him but it’s such a long flight and I don’t really like to travel. I know how Filipinos love Freddie and I’m grateful. Perhaps, someday, I’ll go to visit.”

Barbara said her late husband Paul, a former New England featherweight champion, influenced Freddie’s love for boxing. Three sons – Freddie, Pepper and Joey – became pro fighters but it was Freddie who had the longest career. She also became involved with the sport and was a boxing judge for 30 years. In 1981, she was a judge in the WBA/WBC unified middleweight championship fight between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Vito Antuofermo in Boston.

Barbara used to live in Las Vegas where her son Joey lived and operated a profitable telemarketing business. When Joey died of a heart attack in 2009, Freddie relocated his mother here and moved her in a home beside his. During the week, Barbara often goes to the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, does a few exercises and helps out behind the desk on administrative matters.

Barbara, who used to work as a nurse, said Parkinson’s syndrome is a genetic disease with the family. Her grandfather and uncle, who weren’t boxers, had it. “I wasn’t worried about Freddie getting hurt during his boxing career because he fought in the lighter divisions,” she said during an interview at the Wild Card Gym. “He never went up against heavyweights with a big punch. Parkinson’s runs in our family. Maybe, Freddie got it earlier because of boxing. But he’s on medication and it hasn’t gotten worse. Doctors have managed to arrest it. Freddie’s looking much better today than he did a few years ago. I think his involvement in boxing is a big reason why.”

Barbara said she knew Freddie’s late trainer Eddie Futch who taught him the finer points of getting fighters ready for a match. “Eddie was a good man and taught Freddie what he knows as a trainer,” she said. “Freddie made it on his own. Growing up, money was hard and we all had to work. My husband worked as a tree surgeon after he was done with boxing and for a while, Freddie went to agricultural school. But later, Freddie decided to stay focused on boxing.”

Barbara has three grandchildren, none from Freddie who isn’t married. “I used to tell my children since they were two to always brush their teeth and never to get married,” she chuckled. “Of course, they went on with their lives. I don’t get involved with Freddie’s personal life. I don’t want to get in his way.”

Freddie is still a bachelor. He’s not committing to marriage although he has a girlfriend, Dr. Maya Matthews, a critical care specialist at the Presbyterian Medical Center here.

Freddie’s parents married in 1947. The family lived in a government housing project in Dedham, Massachusetts. Freddie learned how to box when he was six and went on to figure in 150 amateur and 53 professional bouts. Freddie, 54, once said Pacquiao changed his life. Although Pacquiao wasn’t his first world champion, the Filipino is clearly his most successful student. Roach has now mentored about 30 world titlists and is a six-time Trainer of the Year awardee by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

“I love my Mom more than anything and would do anything for her,” said Freddie, quoted by Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal. “She went through hell. She always stuck up for us when Dad got real physical and that meant she got it too and it was bad. It was unbelievable what she went through. My older brother tried stopping him from hitting her one time and it almost got him killed.

“You know, when you’re a little kid, you love your dad and want to be like him. Then you grow up and don’t want to be like him. But I’m not sure I held much against him. He was a working stiff with seven kids who put three meals on the table for us each day. People thought he drank. He never drank. Alcohol wasn’t allowed in our house. He was just bitter.

“But the only time I ever saw him smile was when we would win our fights. The last time I spoke to him was after my last fight as a pro. I lost a 10-round decision. He walked in and asked how someone once so good could end up so bad. I told him to go (bleep) himself and never saw him again.”

Barbara had no harsh words for her husband. She sat dignified behind the counter where fighters check in at the Wild Card Gym. The respect that fighters show Freddie is the same respect they show his mother.

Photo: Pepper (Freddie's brother) and Barbara Roach.

Back to Joaquin Henson's Articles Listing

Recent In-House articles:

    By Maloney L. Samaco, 23 Jul 2019
    By Reni M. Valenzuela, 23 Jul 2019
  • Shame on Feldman
    By Joaquin Henson, 23 Jul 2019
  • No pushovers for Manny
    By Joaquin Henson, 23 Jul 2019
  • “I am always proud to raise the flag of the Philippines. “ - Catriona Gray
    By Rich Mazon , 23 Jul 2019
  • Results: LNK Fight Night 12 in Jurmala, Latvia
    By , 23 Jul 2019
  • Salita Promotions Inks Undefeated UK Super Bantamweight Dynamo Thomas Patrick Ward to a Multi-Fight Promotional Agreement
    By , 23 Jul 2019
  • USA Boxing's Pan American Games Team Departs for Lima, Peru Today
    By , 23 Jul 2019
  • Thurman concedes defeat, eats humble pie
    By Joaquin Henson, 22 Jul 2019
  • Buboy suspects broken rib
    By Joaquin Henson, 22 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao wins ‘The War of Two Kings’ against Thurman
    By Rich Mazon , 22 Jul 2019
    By Maloney L. Samaco, 22 Jul 2019
  • PACQUIAO WATCH: There is no stopping Manny
    By Edwin G. Espejo, 21 Jul 2019
    By , 21 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao Decisions Thurman in a Thriller
    By , 21 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao Banks on Explosive Start to Beat Thurman Via Split Decision!
    By Reylan Loberternos, 21 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao-Thurman co-main event: Ugas dominates Figueroa
    By Rich Mazon , 21 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao- Thurman PPV undercard: Lipinets stops Inson
    By Rich Mazon , 21 Jul 2019
    By Ed de la Vega, DDS, 21 Jul 2019
  • Pacquiao-Thurman PPV undercard: Nery KOs Payano
    By Rich Mazon , 21 Jul 2019


 has been created to support every aspiring
    Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
    Please send comments to

    developed and maintained by dong secuya
    © 2019