Dog Pacman Manny Pacquiao
January 11, 2012 by staff
Dog Pacman Manny Pacquiao, Boxing trainer Freddie Roach’s biggest paycheck as a fighter was $13,000 which he earned in losing a decision to Hector (Macho) Camacho in 1985. When he worked Oscar de la Hoya’s corner for his 2007 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roach was paid $750,000. And since Manny Pacquiao’s ascendancy, Roach has raked in at least $1 million a bout with the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
“Manny changed my life,” said Roach in an interview a few days before leaving Manila last Sunday to set up Pacquiao’s training camp in Baguio. “I never imagined, nearly 10 years ago when Manny walked into the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, we would be where we are today.”
Roach, 50, receives an average of 20 calls a day from fighters asking to work with the Boxing Writers Association of America’s four-time Trainer of the Year (2003, 2006, 2008, 2009) and about 50 media interview requests a week. He has a pending offer to appear in a TV series where a cameraman and broadcaster track his movements from morning to night – and the fee is $25,000 a week.
To rationalize his busy schedule, Roach relies on his secretary Marie Spivey and agent Nick Khan. Spivey holds office at the Wild Card Gym.
Roach said he was recently interviewed for a big story in the October issue of Pl**yboy Magazine. The feature is entitled “The Unstoppable Roach” and details his life history from childhood. In the article, Roach said his mother Barbara ran a “tough household” and related an incident where “she broke up one of our fights with an aluminum baseball bat, hitting my brother over the head with it twice.”
Roach’s mother is in the record books as the first American female boxing judge and was assigned to the Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Vito Antuofermo WBC and WBA unified middleweight title bout in Boston in 1981.
Roach said he has invited his mother and a friend to visit the Philippines while he’s in the country.
“My mother’s never been to this part of the world,” said Roach. “I’m waiting for her to confirm. If she comes, she’ll probably stay a few days in Manila to rest up then go to Baguio. What will she do in Baguio? I don’t know, maybe, read a book.”
Roach recently moved his mother out of the Las Vegas home he bought for her. She now lives beside Roach in the duplex which he owns in Los Angeles. Roach also bought a house for his brother Pepper in the Valley. Roach’s mother lived in Las Vegas where another brother Joey managed a successful telemarketing company with over 100 employees. When Joey died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 47 last year, Roach decided to relocate his mother.
Roach said he doesn’t see himself getting married even as he is rumored to often go out on dates with very attractive women. “My mother doesn’t think I should get married,” he chuckles. “Besides, 90 percent of marriages in the US end up in divorce.”
Roach, who has worked with at least 25 world champions, said his top five fighters at the moment are Pacquiao, WBA superlightweight champion Amir Khan of England, WBA welterweight titlist Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine, Mexican lightmiddleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and unbeaten Armenian lightmiddleweight Vanes Martirosyan.
“Amir’s the next boxing superstar,” said Roach. “He listens very well, like Manny. He’s a good student. He’s got heart, speed, power and brains. Vanes is being lined up to fight Miguel Cotto. I would never take a fight which I think my fighter couldn’t win. So yes, I think Vanes will beat Cotto. And my best young prospect is lightwelterweight Jose Benavides of Phoenix. He’s 5-11. His record is 8-0, with 8 KOs.”
But of all the fighters he’s worked with, nobody comes close to the man who changed his life. “Manny is special,” said Roach. “His work ethic hasn’t changed all these years. No one works harder in the gym. It’s unbelievable how dedicated he is to the sport. Sometimes, I try to hold him back. I don’t want him burning out. But that’s Manny. It’s good for him to enjoy some down time because he works so hard.”
Roach was a pro boxer from 1978 to 1986, retiring with a record of 40-13, including 15 KOs. Trained by the legendary Eddie Futch, he gained a reputation as a never-say-die warrior who went toe-to-toe against world champions Bobby Chacon, Greg Haugen and Camacho. Roach had no inkling he would later become a hero in the Philippines when he posted his last win ever in the ring over a Filipino – Arnel Arrozal in Lynwood, Washington, in August 1986.
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