Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao’s relationship stretches over 20 years. It’s more than that of a trainer and a boxer.
Almost a father and son.
Actually, there’s a standing agreement between Roach and Pacquiao that whenever the Trainer of the Year sees his prized ward, the sport’s only eight-division world champion, is no longer able to fight at the highest level, he should be the first to inform him.
Roach has broached the idea of retirement to Pacquiao in the past, but for some reason, the three-time Fighter of the Year has always managed to bounce back and rejuvenate his career.
On Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time), Roach expressed this sentiment not only to Pacquiao but also to the media who have seen the living legend shows his age and bow to Yordenis Ugas in their battle for the World Boxing Association super welterweight belt at T-Mobile Arena here. (READ: Major upset: Pacquiao falls to last-minute foe Ugas)
“I hate to see the day he retires but this could be it,” said Roach. “He didn’t have a great performance tonight. We’ll see what Manny decides.”
Pacquiao acknowledges Ugas as the rightful winner of their 12-round pay-per-view tussle.
“[My] two legs are cramping that’s why I cannot move,” said Pacquiao, without dwelling on the probable causes.
“This time around my two legs are tired and hurting from the second round.”
Other than his advancing age, the 42-year-old icon could have been affected by the strenuous training he did in Los Angeles, when he ran daily, including mountain runs. He also spent as many as 32 rounds training every day.
On hindsight, Pacquiao feels he must have exceeded his limits.
“We’re not young anymore,” said Pacquiao. “But that’s boxing.”
Pacquiao said he will now focus on leaving his legacy not only as a fighter but as a public servant, even if it hurts him a lot.
“I’m (still) enjoying it but sometimes you have to take the response from your body,” he said.
“We can’t avoid that (retirement). It’s just my mind, my heart is 100 percent but my legs are cramping. We pushed a lot.”
According to Roach, Pacquiao “had trouble reaching Ugas.”
“Manny was not able to solve Ugas’ height and reach advantage,” he said.
Pacquiao, of course, knows he fell short of expectations. Not only of the spectators but of himself.
He’s likely to heed Roach’s advice. – Rappler.com