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Q&A: Roach tells all, bares all in HBO reality series
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Freddie Roach on the HBO series: "It's truly my life, and it's what I go through every day, and there's nothing scripted."
You're going to learn an awful lot about Freddie Roach over the first two episodes of "On Freddie Roach," an HBO reality series which debuts on Friday and chronicles his daily life and routines on camera.
And the 51-year-old Roach is more than a little bit anxious about some of the project's material.
A former boxer who endures Parkinson's disease resulting from his pugilistic past, Roach admits, for example, that it was "a little embarrassing" to watch the uncontrollable, spastic shaking of his left hand while he observed Amir Khan's knockout of Zab Judah from ringside.
As the trainer of Khan and RING No. 1-pound-for-pound titleholder Manny Pacquiao, Roach knows that his doctors won't be pleased by the fact that their training often includes bouncing punches off his unprotected chin.
There is Roach's comment about his mother's two black eyes, a reference to the physical abuse she endured from his father, also a former professional fighter.
The cameras also rolls when Roach bares his pale, white butt while changing in his bedroom, a female admirer flashes her breasts while posing with Roach, and when his older brother, Pepper, has a stroke right outside of Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
"The first episode, I really liked. The second episode, it was compelling, but it was also a little bit hard to watch because of my brother's going through the stroke and so forth. That was just very deep and very intense for me, personally," said Roach, who is visibly shaken throughout the entire ordeal.
"But I thought [executive producers] Peter Berg and Jim Lampley and the guys who put that together did a really, really good job of it, because it's truly my life, and it's what I go through every day, and there's nothing scripted."
Roach discusses the series, including the role of ex-girlfriend and dedicated assistant, Marie Spivey, in the interview below.
RingTV.com: No problems with the first two episodes?
Freddie Roach: Nope. Everything is just real. Like after my brother has the stroke, I go right back to work, and, you know, I love him, but that's the way it goes.
RingTV.com: No concern for privacy, given the fact that your big white butt is shown naked on camera?
FR: You know, what? I walked out in a towel, and I got my underwear and my shorts, and I sat down. I said, "You know, it's my f--king house, so they're going to have to put up with it." [Laughs.]
RingTV.com: How was it for you watching your left hand twitch so involuntarily during the Khan-Judah fight?
FR: What happens is when I'm concentrating somehwere else, I don't realize what the left side is doing, because my mind is somewhere else. Once I come back to focusing on that, I can basically stop the tremor. But when my mind is somewhere else, I can't.
Because I have no idea that I'm shaking so much at that moment because I'm concentrating on the fight. So, I was a little surprised at how violent the tremors were. I didn't realize that I shook that much during the figtht. It was a little embarrasing, but again, that's part of my life.
RingTV.com: Why is it necessasry for you to pass your ringside instructions to your assistant trainer, Alex Ariza, for him to shout them to the fighter?
FR: You know, I don't like to yell too much and so forth, and he likes to yell. But if I don't tell him what to say, he'll tell the fighter s--t that I don't want him to say. [Laughs.]
So I find it to be easier to pacify his need to talk by telling him what to say and to let him pass that on instead of him saying something else.