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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can Freddie Roach really work miracles?Can Freddie Roach really work miracles?

By Stuart Gant: Currently the biggest name in boxing that is not actually a boxer would be Freddie Roach. Roach is one of the most well known and well respected boxing trainers in the world. When you look down the list of great/legendary boxers Roach has worked with it is no surprise that he is one of the most popular trainers in boxing. Roach has been voted Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2003, 2006 and 2008 and has many other great honors to his name.

Recently, however Roach is bigger than ever and this is mainly down to the Ring Magazines #1 Pound for Pound boxer in the world – Manny Pacquiao. Roach and Pacquiao have been together for over 14 fights and Roach helped Pacquiao step up to the Featherweight division and shock the world by beating the Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera by TKO in the 11th round. Since then Pacquiao has lost one, drawn one and won 11. This doesn’t look all that impressive on paper until you realize that in those 13 fights, there were 5 different weight divisions and he fought against the likes of; Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Obviously you cannot give Freddie Roach all the credit as Manny Pacquiao is a very special fighter with great boxing abilities but when you look at Manny Pacquiao’s record before Roach came on the scene you have to wonder how Freddie Roach has managed to make Manny the P4P King. I say this because before Manny and Roach got together Manny had been KO’d twice at Flyweight level and drawn at super bantamweight. Therefore the question has to be asked, Can Freddie Roach really work miracles? To be able to step up in weight and class and have such a good record against such great fighters is really unbelievable after he struggled to take punches at Flyweight level. Maybe I am giving Roach too much credit and Pacquiao has just stepped up his game and worked much harder in recent years and Roach has just been a good trainer helping him succeed.

Manny Pacquiao is now set to face Miguel Angel Cotto on the 14th of November this year and although this should be another great boxing match I think Manny will easily beat Cotto by KO or UD. Therefore I think the real test that will show whether Freddie Roach really works miracles will be the showdown everyone in boxing wants to see and that is the matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. If in a years time Manny Pacquiao has managed to beat Floyd Mayweather (Former P4P king) then I think Freddie Roach undisputedly can perform miracles.

Recently Roach has taken on an upcoming superstar in Britain’s Amir Khan and has had a successful period working with him.

Before Roach started working with Khan, Khan suffered a devastating 1st round knockout to a big hitting Breidis Prescott in September 2008. Khan then looked like his career was in jeopardy as he had been hurt by lesser opponents such as Michael Gomez and Graham Earl and questions were then raised about his fragile chin and heart. After the Prescott fight Khans promoter, Frank Warren quickly sacked Khan’s trainer Jorge Rubio and replaced him with Roach. Three Months later Roach and Khan had there first fight together against an easy opponent in Oisin Fagan. Khan KO’d Fagan in the second so therefore the critics didn’t get to see any evidence of Khans fragile chin. In early 2009, it was announced that Khan would fight former seven-time and three-weight world champion Marco Antonio Barrera on 14 March 2009. Roach obviously new Barrera’s style well after Pacquiao faced him twice and this showed as Khan looked rejuvenated and stuck to a game plan that used his strengths such as speed perfectly. Khan won this fight after it was stopped in the 5th due to a severe cut on Barrera’s head. Barrera suffered the cut in the opening round due to a huge clash of heads which then made the fight much easier for Khan to dominate. Although Barrera struggled because of the cut Khan looked at ease, kept to his strategy and gave his best display yet. This then led to Frank Warren saying

“I’d like to see him get a belt round his waist by the end of this year.”

On the 18th of July Khan and Warren got there wish as Khan stepped into the ring with the WBA World Light-Welterweight champion Andreas Kotelnik. As soon as this matchup was announced critics were quick to point out that Kotelnik is viewed as the easiest Light-Welterweight champion and is not known for any punching power. Being that as it may, Khan still impressed winning the bout by a unanimous decision, 120-108, 118-111, and 118-111.

Khan still has to prove a lot of critics wrong by taking on a real champion or a heavy hitter to show that Roach has worked his magic with him just like he did with Pacquiao.

According to Fight News, a fight between the hard hitting brawler, Marcos Maidana and Khan could be happening as soon as October this year. After watching Maidana impressively beat one of the Golden boys, Victor Ortiz by KO I doubt Khan would be able to take that sort of punching power, however to take the fight would show Roach believes in his man like he does in Pacquiao. Other contenders out there that wouldn’t mind stepping in the ring with Khan would be Junior Witter and Breidis Prescott. A Witter – Khan fight would be a great British fight that I believe Khan could win and silence some critics by doing so. I think Khan will now avoid the fight with Prescott especially since Prescott has just lost his most recent fight and looked very average in doing so.

So the question is can Freddie Roach really work miracles?

This will definitely be answered through the rest of Khans career if Khan goes on to achieve greatness like Pacquiao has. Pacquiao however would already suggest Roach can work miracles with quotes calling Roach “a gift sent from heaven.”

Source: http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/07/can-freddie-roach-really-work-miracles/

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