Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Diaz: Roach has 'lost the love for the sport'
Freddie Roach on Joel Diaz: "I would like to tell him where to go, but the things is, he doesn't know me."
During a media conference call promoting the HBO-televised March 16 clash between WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley and once-beaten Russian Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley's trainer, Joel Diaz, accused his counterpart, Freddie Roach, of having "lost the love for the sport" of boxing.
"I've seen Freddie Roach in a lot of fights, and Freddie Roach is just a name that was created," said Diaz, on what happened to be Roach's 53rd birthday. "I mean, I think that Freddie has lost the love for the sport."
All three of the above, however, have been dethroned in losses as of late, including Pacquiao, whom Bradley (29-0, 12 knockouts) vanquished for his current belt by disputed split decision in June.
"I would like to tell him where to go," said Roach of Diaz. "But the things is, he doesn't know me. He doesn't see what I do everyday. He doesn't see me in the gym working with these fighters. They're making statements to try to get under my skin."
In December, following the loss to Bradley, Pacquiao was knocked out in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez, against whom he was 2-0-1 heading into their clash.
"Freddie Roach is not my concern," said Diaz. "My concern is the fighter. (Roach) generated a name, and it's up there, but he doesn't have the same passion for the sport as he did a few years ago."
Also trained by Roach is Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs), a former Pacquiao sparring partner who has won five consecutive fights as a junior welterweight, four of them by stoppage.
Provodnikov is coming off June's second-round knockout of Jose Reynoso, ending the loser's unbeaten streak at 6-0-1, including two stoppage wins.
Roach said Bradley will run like "Forrest Gump," once he faces the power of Provodnikov.
"'Run, Timmy, run,'" said Roach. "This isn't about Ruslan finishing what Manny started. It's about duplicating it."
But Diaz said he isn't buying what Roach is selling.
"Freddie Roach always tries to play mind games, you know? Like the comment that he said about Tim Bradley looking like Forrest Gump. He probably will be. That night, whatever Tim Bradley brings into the ring that night, we don't like to expose that to anybody, especially to him," said Diaz.
"We've got a great game plan," said Roach. "I've got the right fighter to carry that game plan through. We'll see on March 16 who is the better coach and who is the better man."
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org