Boxing: Manny Pacquiao makes a U-Turn on Freddie Roach

After rumors starting last month, Manny Pacquiao announced in a news release on Friday that he would go into training camp for his upcoming bout against WBA “Regular” champion Lucas Matthysse without his longtime Hall of Fame trainer, Freddie Roach. It didn’t take long before Pacquiao started receiving criticism from fans and media members alike on his handling of the situation with Roach. Roach found out of the decision through the press release himself instead of Pacquiao telling him personally. The trainer issued the following statement below:

“Manny and I had a great run for [16] years — longer than most marriages and certainly a rarity for boxing,” Roach said. “I wouldn’t trade any of it. Inside the boxing ring and the political ring, I wish Manny nothing but the best. I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that.”

However on Sunday Pacquiao somewhat disputed the media release from his promotional company by stating the following:

“Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media, I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14 fight with Matthysse,” Pacquiao said in his statement. “My advisor Mike Koncz has been in contact with Freddie’s people to keep them informed. I will make a final decision within the week. When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media.”

The Friday news release was an update on the promotion of the fight with Matthysse and included information about an upcoming two-city media tour to Manila and Kuala Lumpur as well as some comments from Matthysse about the fight.

While Pacquiao is denying already making a decision, the final line of the release from MP Promotions read:

“Pacquiao will be joined by his new promotions team along with trainers Restituto ‘Buboy’ Fernandez and Raides ‘Nonoy’ Neri.”

Roach was not mentioned in the press release. Pacquiao has been with Roach since 2001. With Roach, Pacquiao won world titles in seven different divisions and was the BWAA fighter of the year three times as well as fighter of the decade for the 00’s. Roach has won a record seven BWAA trainer of the year awards between 2003 and 2014 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012 all with Pacquiao has his “primary” fighter.

Fernandez and Pacquiao have been close friends for as long as the Philippine superstar has been in the sport. ‘Buboy’ has been in Pacquiao’s corner for every fight of his career as an assistant while Neri has been a part of his team for years.

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