De La Hoya fight taught Roach about Mayweather

Nissi Icasiano
De La Hoya fight taught Roach about Mayweather

Chris Farina - Top Rank

May 2 won't be the first time Freddie Roach works the corner against Floyd Mayweather Jr

MANILA, Philippines – Freddie Roach, the longtime boxing coach of Manny Pacquiao, revealed that he is tearing a piece of his old playbook as he prepares his valued pupil for the long-awaited bout versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 (May 3 in PH).

Roach, a seven-time BWAA “Trainer of the Year” awardee, is no stranger to Mayweather as he worked in the corner of Oscar De La Hoya when the Mexican-American boxer unsuccessfully challenged the undefeated American pugilist and dropped a split decision in May 2007.

However, many analysts and ringside observers felt that Mayweather should have walked away with a unanimous verdict.

“I thought we won the first six rounds, [but] we kind of blew it in the last six rounds. Clearly, I thought the fight could have been a draw,” Roach admitted in his interview with On The Ropes Boxing Radio.

During the early part of the proceedings, De La Hoya had some success cutting off the ring while utilizing his left jab and actively throwing combinations.

(IN PHOTOS: Pacquiao makes time for the media)

Although De La Hoya was the aggressor, many of his punches were ineffective and landed on Mayweather’s arms and shoulders.

Mayweather turned the tide in the middle and late rounds, controlling the match’s pace and clobbering De La Hoya at will.

According to Roach, his first encounter with Mayweather has given him a clear idea of what approach he should plot against a well-versed tactician.

“I learned how he works a little bit, so it’s helping out with my strategy with Pacquiao quite a bit,” he said.

Aside from being recognized as a minimal-but-accurate hitter, Mayweather is likewise known for his distinctive brand of defensive guile, utilizing his shoulder roll, high-guard and elbow block to get rid of the shots from his opponents.

Pacquiao and Roach are currently in their third week of training and have been busy in formulating the precise strategy that the Filipino southpaw could execute when he collides with Mayweather in the ring.

“We’re just being careful about what we bring in. We’re getting a little bit from the old stuff and a little bit from the new stuff. It’s working out really well though,” Roach shared. –

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