Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Manny and Buboy pulled it off, I'm proud of them -- Roach

Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach, training maestro of new World Boxing Association welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao for 16 years, was all praises for his former pupil?s outstanding performance against ex-belt-holder Lucas Matthysse.

In a video interview with Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV a week following the Filipino icon?s spectacular seventh round TKO of Matthsysse on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Roach said he was very proud of Pacquiao and new chief trainer Buboy Fernandez.

Buboy, Manny?s childhood friend and neighbour at Barangay Labangal in Genefal Santos City, succeeded Roach as chief trainer after the latter was relieved of the position for the Matthysse title showdown.

It was the first Pacquiao fight that Roach wasn?t in the Filipino?s corner since the two got together as partners in 2001 when the now Philippine Senator won his second world belt of a string of 12 in unprecedented eight divisions.

?Great footwork. The uppercut worked well. He fought a very, very good fight. Him and Buboy pulled it off, they fought very well, I?m very proud of them,? Roach said of what he saw on Pacquiao?s first victory via stoppage in almost a decade.

?And, you know, the thing is, I wish I was closer and not watched it on my cellphone, Roach said laughing. ?But I can?t figure out how to use that new [ESPN+ streaming app]. But he looked really good.?

?One thing about Manny, though, his footwork and his mobility ? he?s never lost that, he added. ?That has never gone away. I mean, in the Horn fight maybe Horn was maybe a little too big by fight time because by fight time he?s weighing like 170 ? he was a real big, big guy.?

The seven-time ?Trainer of th Year? honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America was referring to the soon-to-be 40 year-old?s last fight agaisnt Australian Jeff Horn prior Matthysse?s a little more than a year ago in a highly controversial decision that cost the ?Fighter of the Decade? his 147-pound plum.

?Manny at 147, and guys that aren?t gonna get that much bigger, he?s gonna have a great time with just because of his speed and that speed factor is still there,? he assessed.

?And he still has great footwork and that?s never gone away, that?s never been an issue,? he noted.

?I told Manny ?I?ll tell you to retire when I think it?s ready for you to retire? and I never told him to retire but I did suggest that maybe he look at boxing and a senator,? he recalled by way of clarifying ghe issue that he advised Manny to finally hang his gloves following that loss.

?Maybe those two jobs together could be too much on a person,? he said, adding, ?It was just a suggestion of maybe you should think about maybe doing one or the other and you?d be better at the one you pick. But I guess that didn?t go over so well.?

?Matthysse has power. I mean he?s a dangerous guy and he knocks guys out. I mean the thing is, in Manny?s defense, I don?t think he had one clean shot on Pacquiao the whole night,? Roach sid belying notions that Pacquiao only good because Matthysse wasn?t as he was hyped to be.

Roach said the Argentine title-defender never hurt Manny and ?Manny found his niche with the uppercut and took care of business. I was very proud of him, I?m very happy for him.?

Asked of the possibility of joining forces with Pacquiao again, Roach had this to say: ?Yeah, but you know, like, I?m busy doing The Contender right now and I got two new fighters from Mexico, from the Mexican Olympic team, who are really good prospects and so forth.?

?And the thing is I?m working with these guys and so forth and I?m dedicating a lot of time to these people, and that?s where I?m at right now,? he said.

?If me and Manny talk over ? I hope we cross paths someday and say hello to each other and be respectful. ?Cause we had a great 16 years together and I have no regrets whatsoever.?

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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