Manny Pacquiao’s success in recent years has made him the target of a lot of criticism. Be it because of jealously, bitterness or something in between, the Filipino star has earned scorn from many of his peers for lame, sort of petty things that wouldn’t even matter if they involved anyone else. Fortunately, Pacquiao has also earned big piles of money along the way that he can use to drown out the outside noise. Given his success, both financially and personally over the past decade and change, it’s doubtful that the haters’ commentary matters all that much to him.
Pacquiao criticism is nothing new. An interesting recent development, though, is the bashing of his trainer, Freddie Roach. A universally beloved figure at one point in time, the 53-year-old has come under fire as of late for everything from his mishandling of Amir Khan to Pacquiao’s two-fight losing streak. Both are fair points to pick away at, actually, but it’s just surprising that people are starting to do it now. Roach legitimately has his own little group of haters.
During a media conference call for Mar. 16’s bout between Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley’s trainer said Roach had "lost the love for the sport.”
"I've seen Freddie Roach in a lot of fights, and Freddie Roach is just a name that was created," said Diaz. "I mean, I think that Freddie has lost the love for the sport."
"Freddie Roach is not my concern," Diaz continued. "My concern is the fighter. (Roach) generated a name, and it's up there, but he doesn't have the same passion for the sport as he did a few years ago.”
The insinuation there is clear: somehow Pacquiao’s recent losing streak has killed Roach’s spirit for boxing. That, at this point, he is just a name linked to his Filipino star and not the man his résumé would indicate. Is Diaz right? Sort of. But he didn’t have to put it as crudely as he did.
In any case, this definitely makes the Bradley-Provodnikov bout a lot more interesting.