Freddie Roach to train Glen Tapia, starting next camp in April

USA TODAY Sports

Glen Tapia will look to step his game up, as he's hired Freddie Roach as his new head trainer.

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach will take over the lead corner duties for 24-year-old junior middleweight Glen Tapia, a fighter he's familiar with from past Manny Pacquiao training camps, where Tapia served as a sparring partner.

Roach and Tapia will reportedly enter their first full camp together as trainer and fighter on April 14:

"We had a bond from when I was in camp with Manny," Tapia said Saturday. "When I was there, I was with Freddie all the time. He wanted to train me then. I thought about it, but I said no because I didn't want to leave my coach [Mike Skowronski]. But now that I'm older, I see that this is my career and I've got to take advantage of every opportunity I get. Freddie is one of the best coaches in boxing. I only can get better from here."

Tapia (20-1, 12 KO) suffered his first pro defeat in a punishing fight with James Kirkland in December 2013 on HBO, but says he's not changing trainers because of the result of that fight, saying the loss was his own fault. He even hopes to retain now-former head trainer Alex Devia as part of his team, working the corner with Roach going forward.

Tapia will reportedly return on HBO's June 14 show. Can Roach turn Tapia into a contender?

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