Freddie Roach may have enjoyed a pro boxing career from 1978 to 1986, but when he steps into the ring now it’s doubtful anybody recognizes him as anything other than Manny Pacquiao’s trainer.
And that suits Roach just fine.
Roach wasn’t bad when he laced up the gloves himself Hee had a record of 40-13, with 15 KOs and was trained by the legendary Eddie Futch.
He took on some of the toughest guys around in his era as a lightweight, including former world champions Greg Haugen, Hector Camacho, and Bobby Chacon, but the biggest check he ever cashed for going toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best was the $13,000 he received for a decision he lost to Camacho back in 1985.
Twenty-two years later, after becoming one of the most sought-after boxing trainers on the planet, Roach took $750,000 to the bank after he worked the corner of Oscar de la Hoya in his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he usually makes at least $1 million a fight with pound-for-pound king Pacquiao.
Roach knows where his bread is buttered and admits that Pacquiao has changed his life dramatically since agreeing to become his trainer about 10 years ago, but never imagined how successful the pair would become. The 50-year-old trainer said he gets about 20 phone calls a day from boxers looking to work with him along with 50 requests for interviews a week. Roach, who has won the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Trainer of the Year award four times, has also been offered $25,000 a week to have a television crew follow him day and night for a new reality series.
The trainer comes from a fighting family and said his mother Barbara once broke up a fight between him and his brother by hitting his sibling over the head a couple of times with an aluminum baseball bat. She also became the first female American boxing judge in Massachusetts and worked the Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Vito Antuofermo middleweight title fight back in 1981. Roach is still close to his mother and moved her into his duplex in Los Angeles after his younger brother Joey died in his sleep last year. Joey and his other brother Pepper were both professional boxers, as was his father Paul.
Roach has had the pleasure of working with at least 25 world champions from all over the world. He's said his top five at the moment are Pacquiao, England’s Amir Khan (WBA super lightweight champ), Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Senchenko (WBA welterweight champ), Mexican Jr. middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Jr. middleweight Vanes Martirosyan of Armenia.
He feels Khan has what it takes to become boxing’s next superstar and compares his speed, power, brains and heart to Pacquiao’s. However, he said Pacquiao’s special to him and nobody comes close to him in and out of the ring.
“His work ethic hasn’t changed all these years. No one works harder in the gym. It’s unbelievable how dedicated he is to the sport. Sometimes, I try to hold him back. I don’t want him burning out. But that’s Manny. It’s good for him to enjoy some down time because he works so hard.”
Roach and Pacquiao are currently training for the Pac-Man’s showdown with Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13. Bet365 mobile has the odds of a Pacquiao win posted at 1/7 with a Margarito victory at 9/2, while a draw comes in at 33/1.