Freddie Roach comments on Pacquiao vs. Broner fight
By Jim Dower: Freddie Roach thinks Manny Pacquiao should be able to beat Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) in their potential fight next year on January 19, but he’s not certain whether he’ll be able to do that because he won’t be in his camp to oversee his training. Pacquiao-Broner isn’t official yet, but there’s a very good chance that it’s happening.
Pacquiao is no longer trained by Roach after splitting with him recently. Pacquiao was trained by long-time helper Buboy Fernandez in his last fight against Lucas Matthysse, and did an excellent job without Roach in his corner.
Pacquiao 39, recently signed with Al Haymon, so fights against Broner, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Amir Khan and Shawn Porter are all now easily possible to him. For many years, Pacquiao was promoted by Top Rank, which made doing fights against Premier Boxing Champions manager Al Haymon very difficult to make.
“That’s a pretty good fight. I wouldn’t pick a winner in that,” Roach said to Fighthub about Pacquiao’s fight with Broner. “I think that Pacquiao should win the fight, but at 147 I’m not sure. I’m not involved anymore, so I’m not in the mix, so I don’t know what he’s doing. So it’s hard for me to give you an answer without being there,” Roach said about Pacquiao.
What we do know is Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) looked better than he has in many years in his last fight against Lucas Matthysse on July 15 in Malaysia. Pacquio knocked out Matthysse in the 7th round to win the World Boxing Association ‘regular’ welterweight title. The knockout was Pacquiao’s first in nine years since his 12th round stoppage win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. Pacquiao showed that he didn’t need Roach for him to excel against Matthysse. Whether Pacquiao can do the same thing in fights against Broner, Danny Garcia, Porter and Spence remains to be seen.
“I saw the Matthysse fight, he looked like he fought very well and, I mean, Broner is nothing like that, though,” Roach said. “I mean, there’s no similarities at all with those two really opposite guys.”
It almost sounds like Roach is having a hard time paying compliments to Paccqiao now that he’s no longer training him. If Pacquiao is looking better than he has in nine years, which many boxing fans believe to be the case, then that’s a sign that Roach was doing something wrong in training him. Did Roach over-train Pacquiao all these years or was it a case of bad game plans for the Los Angeles based trainer? Buboy showed that you don’t need to have an extensive background in boxing in order to be a good trainer.
“I thought he looked very good. Yeah,” Roach said about Pacquiao’s performance against Matthysse.
Some boxing fans believe that Roach didn’t do a good job in Pacquiao’s corner in his fight against Australian Jeff Horn in 2017. Pacquiao was roughed up continuously for 12 rounds by Horn, and Roach seemed confused and passive in the corner. When Pacquiao could have used Roach to be more forceful with the referee to handle the fouling that Horn was doing in the fight, Roach was missing in action by his failure to be assertive with the referee. Pacquiao ended up losing a very controversial 12 round unanimous decision to Horn, and he wasn’t happy about it afterwards. Being put in the position in the first place of having to fight in Horn’s backyard in Brisbane, Australia was bad. Pacquiao was the far more popular fighter, and yet he ended up going to Horn’s home country to fight there instead of in a venue that would favor him.
Broner isn’t a relevant fighter at 147 after having lost to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Broner was held to a 12 round draw in his last fight against Jessie Vargas last Even at 140, Broner is no longer dominant having lost his last fight in that weight division to Mikey Garcia in 2017.