Legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach felt nostalgic after Manny Pacquiao lost to Yordenis Ugas of Cuba in their super WBA welterweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday, Aug 21 there (Sunday in Manila).
Roach, who has been guiding Pacquiao for the longest time, a very tight bond that began in 2001, said Pacquiao’s retirement soon isn’t a sight to see for him and the defeat against Ugas might just mark the end of an era for the fighting senator.
He said Ugas’ range and height imposed a huge threat for Pacquiao, who was seen relying on his volume punches on a flat-footed southpaw stance.
“I’m a little worried about it (retirement), yes. He’s boxed for a long, long time and he’s boxed with me for a long-time,” said the 61-year-old Hall of Famer trainer.
“He’s the best customer I’ve ever had. He’s the best guy, the best fighter. You know, I hate to see the day that he will retire but this could be it. And we didn’t have a great performance tonight but we’ll see what Manny decides,” added Roach, who honed Pacquiao into becoming the only eight-division world boxing champion and the oldest welterweight champion then at age 40.
Pacquiao and Roach go way back in 2001 and were known as the tandem for one of the most successful fighter-trainer duos in boxing history.
It wasn’t a perfect relationship as many expected since the two had a rough patch for a year from 2017 to 2018.
But the dynamic duo returned to action with their hearts healed and hatred-free as Pacquiao scored a unanimous decision win against Adrien Broner in January 2019.
Against Ugas, Pacquiao, who now owns a 62-7-2 record on top of 39 knockouts, had spent training here in the Philippines first before flying to Los Angeles, California at Roach’s Wild Card Gym as training camp concluded for good three months.
Pacquiao also introduced Roach to one of his proteges Mark Magsayo, who remained undefeated in 23 matches with 16 KOs against former Mexican champion Julio Ceja in their WBC featherweight title eliminator in the Pacquiao-Ugas undercard.
Magsayo signed with MP Promotions in March 2020 and the fighting senator wanted his apprentice to experience the same training he had with the Hall of Famer trainer.