Roach now a ‘son’ of Gensan
By Edwin G. Espejo
Tue, 05 Nov 2013
Multi-awarded boxing coach Freddie Roach, who molded Manny Pacquiao into a fearsome knockout machine, has been adopted ‘son’ of General Santos City.
In a resolution passed this morning’s 17th regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, November 5, members of the city council cited Roach’s role in the phenomenal rise of Pacquiao into boxing stardom.
Roach first took Pacquiao under his wings in 2001 and promptly steered Pacquiao into winning his second world boxing crown by having himself in the Filipino’s corner when the latter knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba in the 6th round that year.
Since then, their partnership has spanned more than 12 years and six more world championship in as many more division, making Pacquiao the only professional boxer to win world boxing championships in 8 different weight divisions.
Sponsored by Pacquiao’s longtime lawyer and now city councilor Franklin Gacal Jr, the resolution made the 53-year old coach, the most recognizable foreigner in the city today.
Roach is in town for the final leg of Pacquiao’s training and has been deluged by fans eager to have their pictures taken with him.
He often roams around SM City Gensan, just across Pacquiao’s Wild Card Gym named after the American’s LA gym where Pacquiao have been training since they first met.
This is the first time since 2005 that Pacquiao did not have a single training day in Roach’s gym in Los Angeles.
Roach has trained several world boxing champions but it is his relationship with Pacquiao that earned him Coach of the Year in four separate years by the Boxing Writers Association of America, in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Roach was present when the city council passed the resolution.
It was also covered by HBO which is doing a 24/7 special on Pacquiao’s return to the ring against Brandon Rios on November 24 in Macau.
Roach later posed with city officials at the main entrance of the city council building.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Edwin G. Espejo.
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