Pacquiao back with Roach for Broner fight
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao will have his old coach Freddie Roach working with him for his fight against Adrien Broner on January 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The news of Roach getting the job with Pacquiao was released by Sports Illustrated earlier on Wednesday. What this means in the big scheme of things is essentially zero. Pacquiao, 39, doesn’t need Roach to help him beat a down in his luck struggling fighter like Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs). That’s a fight that Pacquiao wins 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Roach will help with giving pointers for Pacquiao during training camp.
Roach will be in Pacquiao’s corner for the fight, which is surprising. That could mean that Pacquiao’s former helper Buboy Fernandez will need to play second fiddle to Roach.
Pacquiao recently promoted Buboy to lead trainer after his loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. Roach was sent packing. He wasn’t sure what was going on, because he hadn’t had a chance to speak with Pacquiao since the loss to Horn.
“Manny reached out directly,” Roach said to SI.com via AFP. “We sat together one-on-one. I’ll be in his corner Jan 19.”
What we don’t know is where Buboy goes. Does he stand next to Roach and translate his instructions to Pacquiao so that he can hear them. Roach has Parkinson’s disease and he can sometimes be hard to hear.
Roach has worked with Pacquiao for 16 years, but that came to an end after the Filipino star was mugged by Jeff Horn in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Roach probably wasn’t speaking up enough and jumping on the referee’s case for him letting Horn foul Pacquiao the entire fight. Roach looked and acted helpless on the night, and the results saw the 29-year-old Australian Horn get away with murder in winning a fight that he shouldn’t have won. Pacquiao was clearly the better fighter, but the fouling that Horn did helped him cross the finish line as the winner. The outcome would have been much different if the referee was on his J-O-B on the night and had taken off multiple points from Horn for his roughhouse tactics. That failed to happen. Roach could have created enough of a scene to embarrass the referee enough to start doing his job, but he failed to. Perhaps Roach has learned his lesson since then. If Broner starts mugging Pacquiao like Horn did, then it’ll be interesting to see if Roach lifts a finger to create a fuss with the referee or not.
Pacquiao recently surprised a lot of boxing fans with him telling the media this week that he’s hiring Roach back as a trainer. The thing is, Pacquiao, 39, didn’t tell Roach. It was like a given that Roach would fall in lock step behind Paccquiao once he gave him the signal that he could come back. Obviously that’s not the best way to hire back a popular trainer like Roach, but that’s how Pacquiao decided to do it. He told the media that Roach was coming back before he told him. It takes courage to pull a move like that.
On Tuesday, Roach whined to SI.com, saying, “I’m not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I’ve been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can’t call me, there will be no deal.”
Pacquiao had said this week that he wanted Roach to work as a supervisor type of training position in camp, but Buboy would be the #1 trainer. That obviously would be hard for Roach to take, as Buboy has no real background in boxing other than the years he’s been with Manny. Buboy has worked with Pacquiao for many years, but he’s not a former fighter like Roach and he’s not seen as a great trainer like Roach.
As far as the importance of having Roach in Pacquiao’s corner on January 19, it’s negligible. Pacquiao wins this fight no matter who’s in his corner in this writer’s opinion. Pacquiao is going to be on cruise control on the night, and it’s doubtful that he’ll pay much mind to what’s being said to him by Buboy or Roach. Putting together a plan for Pacquiao to beat Broner is relativey simple. It’s from A to B. Just throw a lot of punches, and you beat Broner with ease. Broner’s problem is he doesn’t throw enough punches. He likes to throw single shots while making a lot of racket from his mouth. Instead of throwing combinations, Broner throws single shots and ends up getting outworked. That’s when Broner is throwing punches. In the first half of his fights, Broner just looks afraid to fight, and he lets his opponents build up huge insurmountable leads over him. Even when Broner does come on late, he failed to win because he’s so far behind on the scorecard.
Pacquiao, Broner and Roach are all seen as over-the-hill by a lot of boxing fans. Pacquiao is the WBA champion after beating Lucas Matthysse by a 7th round knockout last July in Malaysia, but that was against a weak paper champion that he won the belt. Would Pacquiao have looked that good if he were fighting Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford or Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman? Probably not. Matthysse was made to order for Pacquiao. He was always going to look sensational against the 35-year-old past his primed Matthysse.
Broner obviously has seen better days. His career has been on the slide since 2013 when he was whipped by Marcos Maidana. That loss was the beginning of the end for Broner. He’s fancied himself as a rapper, and one gets the sense that he’s wasted time on that when he should have been focusing on the only thing that he was good at as a boxer. Broner hasn’t worked on his craft, and he’s been passed up by younger fighters that knew what they wanted and worked at it. Broner isn’t the same fighter that he once was now that’s fighting out of his best weight class of super featherweight. That’s the only division where Broner was dominant. At lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight, Broner has’t been as impressive.