By Mark Elezaj
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to face Adrien “The Problem” Broner on January 19th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be Pacquiao’s first bout in the United States in over two years and he’s bringing back a familiar face to help “supervise” the corner.
Who is the familiar face you ask ?
Earlier this year, Pacquiao parted ways with Roach after working with him for 16 years. “Manny and I had a great run for  years — longer than most marriages and certainly a rarity for boxing. 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.” (Via ESPN)
Pacquiao then went forward and decided to move his best friend, Buboy Fernandez, to head trainer. With Buboy as head coach, Pacquiao went on to face Lucas Matthysse on July 15, 2018. Pacquiao looked like the Manny of old, not only winning this fight, but doing so by knockout to capture the WBA “regular” welterweight title. This was Pacquiaos first knockout victory since stopping Miguel Cotto back in November of 2009.
According to reporter Nick Giongco of Tempo, two of Pacquiao’s team members, conditioning coach Justin Fortune and Buboy Fernandez are not pleased with Freddy Roach coming back, believing that it’s going to “crack the atmosphere of the team.”
When asked about this, Pacquiao reasoned “That’ll be okay, I will talk to them.”
Fortune told the paper that Roach’s return to the team “makes for a bad camp. It’s going to be toxic.”
Roach said he doesn’t have any issues with either Buboy or Fortune. “We are a team,” said Roach. He stated that Fernandez “did a good job with Pacquiao during the last fight He’s not a problem.”
Pacquiao and Roach had one of the longest and most successful partnerships in boxing, lasting 16 years, helping establish Pacquiao as one of boxing’s most accomplished fighters and biggest draws. During that time, Roach won the Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year award a record seven times and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
With Roach in Pacquiaos corner, he won world titles in seven weight classes, and was voted the BWAA fighter of the year three times and the 2000s fighter of the decade.
So now what?
Pacquiao has decided to rehire Roach as a training camp “supervisor.” They met last Wednesday night in Los Angeles and worked out the details. Roach has confirmed that he’s already received a contract to work the fight.
“There’s been a contract each fight. It’s always been that way. Nothing different. I told my lawyer what to put in the contract and what Manny told me. They have the contract and everyone’s happy. No problem,” said Roach.
Buboy Fernandez will still be the head coac in Pacquiaos corner for the Broner fight and Roach has stated that he doesn’t have any issues with Buboy or Fortune.
In conclusion, only time will tell if the decision to bring Roach back was a good one. I personally feel it is a great move because all involved in the camp know each other so well. Honestly, it can only work in Pacquiaos favor, so let’s put all the issues aside and get Pacquiao ready for his upcoming fight.
~The Fighting Voice~