RingTV.com heard from five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, whose arduous schedule continues at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas, as the head cornerman for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as he faces Peter Manfredo Jr.
The fight could be a stiff test for the 25-year-old Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KOs), son of the Mexican legend and former three-division champ of the same name.
Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs), who turns 31 on Nov. 26, is after his eighth consecutive victory during a run that includes four knockouts.
The 51-year-old Roach was also in the corner for last Saturday’s controversial majority decision win by Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) in defense of his WBO welterweight belt against Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) on HBO Pay Per View from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It was the third meeting between the two, who had earlier battled to a draw and a split-decision win for Pacquiao in May of 2004 and March of 2008, respectively.
When he’s done guiding Chavez Jr., Roach will shift his focus to WBA/IBF 140-pound beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs), who will face RING-rated contender Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Dec. 10 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
In this Q&A, Roach addressed his busy schedule, as well as the notion of whether or not Pacquiao should pursue a fourth matchup against Marquez, or attempt to renew the twice-failed negotiations for a bout opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs).
RingTV.com: How is everything going with Chavez Jr.?
Freddie Roach: Good. Chavez is looking good. He’s training hard. The weight is good. No problems. He’s good.
RingTV.com: What are your general thoughts about last weekend’s fight with Marquez?
FR: I saw the replays. I thought that Manny pulled it out over the last couple of rounds. It was a very close fight.
RingTV.com: How was that fight for you and what went on in the corner?
FR: Manny was moving in the wrong direction a little bit too much. He was moving in the direction of Marquez’s right hand a lot. I don’t think that he fought a great fight.
I think that Marquez had the fight there for the taking and that he didn’t have the balls to come after us. But I thought that Manny did enough to win.
RingTV.com: Was it difficult to get Pacquiao to do what you wanted him to do?
FR: Yes, and it’s always difficult when that happens, but Manny had a bad night. It’s the first time that that has happened with Manny in a long, long time.
But Marquez is just a tough guy with a difficult style for Manny to fight. I think that at this point, if they fight 20 times that you’re going to get similar results.
With these two guys, it’s just always a situation where you’re going to have a very close fight where it can go either way.
RingTV.com: What do you think is next for Pacquiao?
FR: I talked to Manny last night, and I said, ‘Well, what do you want to do next?’ And he said, ‘Well, Freddie, Christmas is coming up, my birthday is coming up [Dec.17.]“
He said, “I want to enjoy my family and then we’ll come back and we’ll take a look at things and then we’ll make a decision after the holidays.”
RingTV.com: Can you speculate on what his answer and his decision will be?
FR: You know, I really can’t. The thing is that I’m sure that he wants the biggest fight out there. So, that’s always been important to him.
But I really can’t speculate. He told me that we’ll make a decision after the holidays. We really have no reason to make a decision in a rush. That’s where he stands.
RingTV.com: At this point, do you believe that Pacquiao would gain more from fighting Marquez or from fighting Mayweather?
FR: Well, financially, I think that you’re going to get about $30 million with the one guy, Marquez, and you’re going to get $100 million with the other guy, Mayweather.
So why wouldn’t you take the $100 million? You could fight Marquez any time. I mean, he’s always there. So, the thing is that I don’t think that it’s a very hard decision.
But the thing is, after the holidays, if Manny can get Floyd to negotiate, then that’s when things will get done. But I think that we can make it work.
I see Floyd maybe being a little more anxious to make it happen now because of the fact that Manny had a bad night against Marquez. So if that’s the case, then that’s okay with me.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com