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Roach says Manny was short-changed; retiring is an option


PhilBoxing.com




BRISBANE. Hall of Fame boxing coach Freddie Roach said Manny Pacquiao was short-changed by the judges and referee Mark Nelson failed to keep order in the ring as Jeff Horn brawled his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in wresting the WBO welterweight crown at the Suncorp Stadium here last Sunday.

Roach was particularly critical of judges Waleska Roldan, Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan who scored the ninth round, 10-9 for Pacquiao despite dominating Horn and nearly prompting a stoppage. Roach said that should?ve been 10-8 even without a knockdown. The beating that Pacquiao administered was so severe that Nelson told Horn before the start of the next round, he would stop the fight unless the Australian showed signs of recovery. Roach called for an investigation of Roldan's basis for scoring the fight 117-111 for Horn.

Roach said ?something?s wrong? when in nearly every round, Horn clamped a headlock on Pacquiao when they got close without receiving a single warning. He also wondered why Nelson never reprimanded Horn for elbowing, hitting during the break and brushing the back side of his glove on Pacquiao?s face. Under the rules, a fighter who resorts to dirty tricks is warned or slapped a point deduction or even disqualified for malicious intent with dire consequence. Pacquiao was butted twice on both sides of his head, spewing crimson that smeared his face.

Despite Horn?s roughhousing tactics, he was never warned, much less given a deduction. Roach said Nelson had no control of the fight. Horn?s strategy was to closet Pacquiao and restrict his movement so he wouldn?t be able to use his speed and lateral movement. If Horn was restrained by Nelson as he should?ve been, Pacquiao would?ve had an easy time picking his shots.

Roach said it?s hard to score a fight from the corner. ?I?m too close to what?s happening so I don?t get a wide view of the action but I think Manny won the fight by two or three rounds,? he said. ?Give credit to Horn for being a durable fighter. He did what he had to do to try to win. Horn came to fight and why not? It was his big chance to win the world title in front of his countrymen.?

Roach said after Pacquiao almost knocked out Horn in the ninth, he asked for another dominant round to seal it. ?I told Manny to use distance and combinations,? he said. ?In the ninth, he rocked Horn with combinations. You won?t take him out with one punch. I wanted another round like that. Somehow, Manny couldn?t do it again. I don?t think he ran out of gas. It?s just that the other guy wouldn?t slow down.?

Pacquiao?s conditioning coach Justin Fortune called Nelson an ?idiot? for not doing his job. ?I don?t even know who he is and where those judges came from,? he said. ?I knew it would be tough winning in Australia over an Australian. You?ve got to beat the hell of a guy to win. I thought Manny won the fight but I would?ve been happy with a draw.?

Fortune, who is Australian, flew back to Los Angeles last Monday to be with his wife Tamara who expects to deliver twins on Aug. 4 and he can?t wait. They?ve been together for five years. ?Our first kids,? he said. ?I?ll fly my mum over from Australia when Tamara gives birth.?

As for Roach, he also left for Los Angeles last Monday. Initially, Roach planned to relieve chief assistant Marvin Somodio in working WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev?s title defense against Australian Mark Flanagan in Ekaterinburg, Russia, this weekend. Roach said Somodio will stay with Lebedev for the fight while he starts training Miguel Cotto who reported to the Wild Card Gym this week for his first day of camp. Cotto is getting ready to face Japan?s Yoshihiro Kamega for the vacant WBO superwelterweight belt at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California, on Aug. 26. Roach said he assigned one of his trainers Ernie Zavala to take care of Cotto while he?s in transit.

Roach said he?ll sit down with Pacquiao soon, review the fight with Horn then decide whether or not to continue boxing. ?Retiring is an option,? he said. ?It will depend on how we review the fight. If Manny decides to do a rematch, we?ll do it. Maybe, in a place like New Zealand. Now that Manny?s in the Senate, the work is more demanding and he?s very hands-on. The work he?s doing is very important not just to him but also to the country. If he decides to continue fighting, he?ll need to free up some time for his training.?

Photo: Hall of famer trainer Freddie Roach (L) and Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (R) during the final press conference of Pacquiao's WBO world championship bout with Jeff Horn of Australia in Brisbane. Photo by Wendell Alinea.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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