Roach: I’m still in the picture with Chavez Jr
By Dan Ambrose: It was thought recently that trainer Freddie Roach was going to be dumped by former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) following his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez last September. Roach is saying that he’s still in going to be training Chavez Jr. as far as he knows.
Speaking with fighthubtv.com, Roach said “I spoke to his [Chavez Jr] manager Billy Keane, and Billy says that last time he spoke to him, I’m still in the picture…I told him, ‘I’ll train you, but the first day you miss, if you miss a day of training, I’m going home.’”
Roach probably should have made that move last year when he was training Chavez Jr. for the Martinez fight given that Chavez Jr. was missing training sessions left and right and doing much of the training at his home.
Roach says Chavez Jr. only trained with him a total of 5 days during the entire training camp, which is an absurd number. Why Roach, a popular trainer, stuck it out under those kinds of conditions is unclear because seems like an insane working relationship. The worst part of all was that a lot of this stuff was captured by HBO’s 24/7 team and televised on HBO.
Roach should have stood firm then instead of talking about it now. It’s too late now, Chavez Jr. was soundly beaten and Roach looked like a mere figurehead not only during the training camp but also in between rounds of the fight.
Chavez Jr’s father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was giving instructions to Chavez Jr, which were given him by a courier between rounds. Roach just looked like a cut-man between rounds rather than the trainer. It was bizarre and kind of sad to see.
I’d be really surprised if Roach is back with Chavez Jr. for his next fight. I don’t see him being asked to return, and if he does he’s probably not going to last long if he really intends on walking out of training camp as soon as Chavez Jr. skips his first training session.
Chavez Jr. reportedly was in contact with trainer Nacho Beristain about the job, but he turned down an offer because it was way below what he felt was acceptable.