Happy birthday to the ‘best trainer in the world,’ greets Pacquiao

Published March 6, 2021, 7:45 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from Manny Pacquiao’s Facebook page

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has nothing but sweet words for longtime trainer Freddie Roach on the latter’s birthday.

Pacquiao, through his social media channels, greeted Roach on his special day as the veteran American coach turned 61 on Friday, March 5.

“Happy Birthday to the best trainer in the world, my mentor, my best friend, [Freddie Roach],” wrote Pacquiao, 42, Saturday, March 6.

The post was accompanied with a photo set, showing the sparring and training sessions of the student and mentor.

On Facebook alone, the post has garnered 145k reactions, 13k comments, and 1.8 shares as of this writing.

The Hall of Famer trainer returned the gratitude to his long-time student with a quote tweet on Twitter.

“You’ve been with me longer than any boxer I’ve ever worked with. I’m grateful for that. Thank you very much for the birthday post today,” wrote Roach.

Pacquiao and Roach have a rich history and were known for being one of the most successful fighter-trainer duos in boxing history since 2001.

The two had a rough patch in July 2017 though, when Pacquiao, the one and only eight-division world boxing champion, yielded to Australian foe Jeff Horn via unanimous decision.

Sixteen months later, the iconic tandem would return to business with healed hearts after Pacquiao had knocked out Lucas Matthysse in July 2018, the first time Roach watched his student from afar.

Roach returned as Pacquiao’s cornerman against Adrien Broner in January 2019 and the Filipino boxer-turned-senator scored a unanimous decision win against the American boxer.

Since the Matthysse knockout, Pacquiao rides on a three-match win streak with the latest from a split decision victory against Keith Thurman in July 2019.