Breaking: Pacquiao Denies Firing Roach
In a Sunday Facebook post, multi-titlist Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2) refuted reports that he had fired longtime trainer Freddie Roach. The weekend social media statement ran contrary to an earlier press release that close associates Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez, and Raides “Nonoy” Neri, would be Pacquiao’s trainers for his forthcoming July 14th welterweight title fight with Lucas Matthysse (39-4).
“Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media,” Pacquiao claimed Sunday, “I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14th fight with Matthysse.” Roach had made it clear that he felt slighted by what was believed to be Pacquiao’s abrupt firing. Sunday’s tweet, however, made clear that “my (Pacquiao’s) advisor Mike Koncz has been in contact with Freddie’s people to keep them informed.”
Boxing had been buzzing over rumors of a Pacquiao-Roach break recently, but the press release from late last week appeared to make things official. As of Sunday, however, Pacquiao was claiming the press release didn’t come from him personally. Pacquiao and Roach have been a team since the Filipino fighter’s American debut in 2001. During that time, Pacquiao rose from an obscure fighter from boxing’s lighter weight realm to an international household name.
Now a senator in his homeland, Pacquiao will be returning after a year off to face Argentina’s Matthysse in a bout between two well known and crowd pleasing fighters. Who exactly will be in Pacquiao’s corner next remains to be seen. “I will make the final decision within the week,” Pacquiao stated. “When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media.”