By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach’s stable of fighters have been going through some hard times lately with one after another suffering losses and it’s getting to the point where some boxing fans are wondering whether Roach has lost his mojo with the fighters.
We’ve seen Roach fighters Amir Khan lose twice, Lateef Kayode fight to a draw, Manny Pacquiao get beat and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defeated by Sergio Martinez. Now it’s up to Pacquiao to end Roach’s losing streak next month against 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In hearing some of the comments that Roach has been making in leading up to the fight he sounds like he really wants Pacquiao to score a knockout. I guess Roach doesn’t want to take any chances that Pacquiao take another loss like he did last June against Tim Bradley. However, that was the only fight in Pacquiao’s career where I thought he lost by a controversial decision, so it’s not as if this has been happening to him a lot.
On the contrary, it’s been the other way around with Pacquiao winning controversial decisions twice against Marquez and also getting a controversial draw with him as well. You can easily that Pacquiao should have lost all those fights with Marquez, which makes the one fight where Pacquiao found himself on the receiving end up a controversial decision look like nothing.
Could Roach have done anything different to keep his fighters from losing their last fights? In the case of Khan I don’t think Roach could have done much other than maybe getting really forceful with him in between rounds when telling him to box instead of slug with Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. Khan didn’t look like he was following Roach’s advice for some reason.
When you have a fighter that doesn’t seem engaged you have to try and shock them to attention. I didn’t see Roach doing that with Khan, so I have to give Roach some blame for that loss. Roach probably should have walked out of training camp with Chavez Jr. when he started blowing off training sessions and insisting on working out at home. At least by walking away from a bad situation Roach could have deflected a lot of the criticism.
With Pacquiao I don’t know what Roach could have done in that situation. It was a winnable fight for Pacquiao but he couldn’t cut off the ring against Bradley and he was only fighting hard in the last 30 seconds of every round. There’s nothing Roach can do for fighter that can’t cut off a ring or fight hard in the majority portions of every round.