In wake of a stunning loss to massive underdog Jeff Horn, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach has some sharp words for the former champ.
It has yet to be determined whether Manny Pacquiao fights again. Whatever he decides, his trainer of the past 16 years, Freddie Roach, believes that being a fighter and a senator just does not mesh if you want to be the best at both.
That has never been clearer than this past weekend in Brisbane, Australia, when Pacquiao, the first term Senator and the only eight-division champion in history, surrendered his WBO welterweight title to little-known Jeff Horn by a unanimous decision, an outcome few thought was even possible.
Per an interview with USA Today, Roach, a seven-time trainer of the year, Pacquiao’s loss, though highly controversial, may be rooted to their training camp in the Philippines. The senate was in session throughout the first half of camp.
“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 three o’clock and sometimes they let him out at nine 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 said following the shocking loss to Horn, “I told Manny, give it a week, we’ll sit down and talk and see what’s next.” He said he did not to to persuade Pacquiao, who will be 39 in December, to retire.
“I said either we retire or fight a rematch at this point,” he said. “Which decision? We should take some time and watch the fight on tape, and then I’ll have a long talk with Manny about what’s the best place to go: To fight (Horn) in a rematch, or possibly retire, or go on to bigger and better guys. Those are his options.”
Roach, who knows Pacquiao probably better than anyone besides the fighter’s wife Jinkee and lifelong friend Buboy Fernandez, was asked if he knows what the future Hall of Famer is currently thinking. “I think what’s on his mind is what we talked about, having two jobs and you can’t really do both. I hope that sunk in to him so he thinks about it. But right now, more realistically, is either a rematch with (Horn) or nothing. That’s it. That’s pretty much my thoughts, and I don’t think we ought to go after any other world champions right now. I would like a rematch and then if he wins that, it’s over. But is that possible? Can you retire off a win?”