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The next fight of Manny Pacquiao which is set for July 15, the WBA "regular" welterweight title fight against champion Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it was announced that Pacquiao will be joined by his new promotions team along with trainers Restituto "Buboy" Fernandez and Raides "Nonoy" Neri.

Roach said he has no feeling of any hatred, but he is distressed that Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) never gave him any notice of the big change. Roach clearly knew about being replaced through the media.

"Manny and I had a great run for 15 years -- longer than most marriages and certainly a rarity for boxing. I wouldn't trade any of it. Inside the boxing ring and the political ring, I wish Manny nothing but the best," Roach told

"I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't hurt that he didn't contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that."

Roach, won seven trainer-of-the-year awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America as he developed Pacquiao from a less skillful super-bantamweight in 2001 into a record seven-division world champion. He was WBC flyweight titlist before that.

"I had a great [16] years with the guy and if they feel it's time for me to go, I'm not upset with Manny," Roach told the Los Angeles Times. "We had a great run. That many years? Who lasts that long together in this business?"

Roach said he has not been officially informed by Pacquiao that he will no longer be hired as the lead trainer in the Matthysse fight.

He said Pacquiao's business manager Michael Koncz informed Roach's assistant in a phone call saying "don't believe everything that you read."

When asked if he believes he should get a call directly from Pacquiao after all of these years they have been successfully together, Roach said, "Probably …"

According to Lance Pugmire of LA Times: "Fernandez and Neri are longtime friends and confidants of Pacquiao, but their corner work is nowhere near the caliber of Roach, who has also worked with Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan."

Pacquiao had a hard time with the rugged fighting techniques of Jeff Horn in Australia, when Horn posted a controversial unanimous decision win to wrest the WBO welterweight title belt from him.

After the fight, promoter Bob Arum and Koncz lambasted Roach for not taking aggressive action to counter the referee's giving Horn the freedom to fight his rough style during the bout, adding that "the corner direction to Pacquiao seemed lacking."

Roach met Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, where Pacquiao first came when he was looking for a new trainer before scoring a sixth-round technical knockout of Lehlo Ledwaba in Las Vegas.

Roach improved Pacquiao's offensive prowess plus his excellent hand speed and great punching power made the Filipino icon win championships up to the super welterweight class.

"Manny will make the final decision on this. He's contemplating letting Buboy shine at the finish of his career," Koncz said. "If Buboy can get a stable of boxers out of this … no hard feelings to Freddie, but Manny has not made a final decision."

Koncz emphasized that he has enough trust on his chilhood friend as his new trainer. "Manny learned a lot from Freddie, but he's at the stage where he's going to be ending his career, and I truly believe this: A fighter must only have one voice in the corner and it must be a voice he can trust."

Roach said being able to help Pacquiao again for the fight against Matthysse, "would be nice. But if Manny has made a final decision, it's out of my hands."

The Argentine champ will train under Joel Diaz, a retired Mexican-American fighter, in Indio, California.

Roach as of now keeps himself busy. He trains Jose Ramirez, who won the WBC super lightweight belt in March, and recently trained WBA featherweight title challenger Scott Quigg, a former superbantamweight champion.

"I'm busy and have a lot of fighters," Roach said.

Pacquiao, through his MP Promotions, will promote his ESPN-televised bout at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Promotional tours will be held in Manila on April 18 and later in Kuala Lumpur two days later.

"It's all systems go," Pacquiao told reporters. "We have assembled the biggest fight card Malaysia has been waiting for in the 43 years since Ali -Bugner."

Muhammad Ali fought and won over Joe Bugner in a rematch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1975 winning by unanimous decision.

Photo: Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez at Pacquiao's corner during the Horn fight in Brisbane, Australia in July of last year.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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