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Roach admits to disarray in Pacquiao’s corner

Freddie Roach concedes that some of Bob Arum’s criticism of their corner work was justified.

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Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

In a conversation with USA Today, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach openly admits that Pacquiao’s duties as a senator adversely affected his training regiment for the first half of his training camp, saying they were unable to keep any consistent schedule.

That would appear to show in the fight, as Pacquiao looked to be in worse form I’ve seen him recently (although I still thought he did enough to beat Jeff Horn last weekend). But speaking about the the toll Pacquiao’s two professions has taken on him, Roach says:

“Being a congressman, it seemed like Manny really wasn’t pressed or challenged by it,” Roach said. “But being a senator, he’s like a whole different person. It takes a lot of his time, and the thing is, the first half of training camp wasn’t the best because he was being a senator, and sometimes they’d let him out at 3 o’clock and sometimes they let him out at 9 o’clock. Sometimes 10 o’clock. And then we have to train after he gets off work. Being a great fighter and being a great person in politics, it’s just very, very difficult to do both, I feel.”

Roach continued by saying that he didn’t press Manny on the issue of retirement in the immediate aftermath of the loss, instead advising him to take some time to think it over while he takes some time to review the tape. He expects to have a deep conversation on where they’ll go from here after things have settled down — and as Roach puts it, it’s either rematch or retire for Pacquiao.

Roach also took some time to call out Horn for his rough house tactics, saying Horn has a ‘very dirty style’, but that the referee simply explained it away by attributing to the inherent eventualities between orthodox and southpaw fighters. Roach strongly disagreed with that explanation, but did admit that Pacquiao didn’t react very well to the cuts he received from the head butts — exemplified by Pacquiao asking for the ring doctor to inspect the cuts in between rounds.

“He doesn’t get a lot of cuts, and when he does cut he panics a little bit,” Roach said... “He’s never done well when he’s had those issues, you know, blood in the face. It affects everyone differently.”

Lastly, Roach took a moment to respond Bob Arum’s criticism about how Pacquiao’s corner was being during the fight, essentially saying that they did Pacquiao no favors. And Roach actually didn’t disagree with Arum’s assessment, admitting that the corner didn’t function well.

“It’s hard when Buboy is yelling, and (cutman) Miguel (Diaz) is telling me he has to get in the middle to work on the cuts,” Roach said. “And to get my message across to Manny, what he should be doing is very difficult. Miguel is getting older and he has trouble getting in and out of the ring, and Buboy gets excited. Control in that corner has always been a little difficult.”

Sounds like the entire match was one well-rounded disaster for Team Pacquiao...

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