Saturday night, Dec. 8, Freddie Roach lost his fourth consecutive bout as a trainer and with that has come speculation by boxing insiders that he has somehow lost his way. Though, when taking a closer look at Roach’s training camps one can see that the blame cannot be completely put on him.
Rather, the recent losing streak can be mostly blamed on success and fame. The hard work and several years of working with his fighters have helped Roach’s fighters get to the top of the sport and gain significant paydays.
Specifically, Manny Pacquiao’s success and fame has brought him considerable money as well as a political position in the Philippines. Consequently, the relationship that once lied with Roach as the boss and Pacquiao as pupil has disappeared with the roles being revered.
In HBO’s prolific show, 24/7, Roach stated “It’s been a tough year; the thing is that I’m wondering if I’m losing my touch. I don’t get to tell him what to do anymore; he tells me what to do pretty much I miss those days when I was the boss.”
Additionally, Roach’s prior training camp with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was a joke with Chavez skipping several scheduled workouts. At times, Roach was left at the gym waiting for Chavez Jr. only to find out he decided not to show up that day. As a result, Chavez Jr. suffered a unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez in a bout he was completely dominated for 11 rounds.
Correspondingly, Roach lost Amir Khan, who is now training with Virgil Hunter, due to the fact that Khan did not feel Roach was focused enough on him. However, it must be noted that Khan did not follow Roach’s game plan in his TKO loss to Danny Garcia.
Nevertheless, if Roach is going to get back on the winning side, he must demand that his fighters come into training camp prepared to follow his instructions and focus only on training. If not, Roach should part ways with any fighter looking to be on their own agenda as their losses will only bring more blame.
Just think, when a teacher in a school has no control of their classroom the children will run around and behave in any manner they please, which will result in poor test results. The same applies with boxing except the classroom is the gym and the fighters need to follow the instruction of their trainer along with structure in order to properly prepare for a fight.
In the end, it will be up to Roach if he is going to continue to lower his standards and let his fighters get away with training part time. Moving forward, it is imperative that Roach demand the respect he has built for himself and ensure his fighters are coming to training camp with the same intensity as well as purpose that he approaches the sport with. Only time will tell, but it should be interesting to see how Roach approaches this latest losing streak with his fighters not giving the sport the focus it demands.
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