Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach will not look back on the previous 12 months with great pleasure. After what has been an illustrious career for Roach, the past 12 months have been more agony than triumph, capped this past weekend by the defeat of the previously unbeaten Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Although it is has been a difficult time period for the founder of the Wildcard Gym, there have been some high points, including the progression of unbeaten middleweight “Kid Chocolate”, Peter Quillin, and the honor of being inducted into boxing’s Hall of Fame, a prestigious honor thoroughly deserved.  Roach does not appear to be a man that panics and is very methodical in his approach, both in and out of the gym, but the recent turn of events should be worrisome to a man who has trained numerous world champions and is the mastermind behind the success of 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.

Late last year, the split decision victory for Manny Pacquiao over Juan Manuel Marquez angered and surprised a lot of people, which led to calls from Roach that maybe it is soon time for Pacquiao to think about retiring.  The following month, the then IBF and WBA light welterweight champion of the world Amir Khan lost his titles in Washington to Lamont Peterson.  In June, Roach’s number one fighter Manny Pacquiao this time lost out a controversial and high-profile bout against Timothy Bradley. Next followed Amir Khan’s devastating knockout defeat to Danny Garcia in his unification light welterweight championship bout. That result has now led to Roach and Khan going their separate ways. Both men respectfully released statements, but it seems as if a war of words could be brewing…

“I wanted [Pacquiao] to fight the guy Garcia, Danny Garcia,” said Roach in an interview to Examiner.com. “I wanted that fight because Amir Khan says that I don’t teach defense to him and Manny Pacquiao.”

“Why did he compare himself to Manny Pacquiao? It depends what I taught him. Let’s see what Manny does with your last opponent. Manny wouldn’t lose a round.”

With Roach’s ties to Khan now over, the main problem I still see for Roach is his relationship with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.  Whether you like Roach, dislike him, agree with him, or disagree with him, you cannot help but respect the work ethic and the commitment of the man, who is a long-time sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, but fails to let it prevent him doing the job he loves.  His role and commitment in the sport should serve as inspiration to anybody who wishes to achieve something in life.  Which brings me to Chavez Jr., the son of a Mexican boxing legend. Julio Cesar Chavez always has been a fine ambassador and role model for the sport, but the same cannot be said for his son.

HBO’s 24/7 series really highlighted the lack of professionalism and respect that the seemingly over-hyped young fighter has for not only Freddie Roach, but the sport itself.  This is a man that failed a drug test in 2009, and then skipped out of a drug test following his victory over Marco Antonio Rubio. He also refused to have his gloves weighed and then chose to have the post-fight drug test before his fight against Andy Lee actually took place. Most recently, his total lack of respect for Roach was on display in front of the world’s eyes on 24/7. What more does this kid want or need? He has arguably the biggest promotional company in the world, one of the greatest gyms and trainers in the world, the opportunity to play off his father’s name, and what does he do? He showed a total disregard to all who support him. Watching that 24/7 series made me sick. Here is a man in Freddie Roach who is suffering from a very serious disease, working hard preparing a number of other fighters, but still wanting to get Chavez Jr. prepared for the biggest match in his career, only to see the young Mexican pick and choose when he wanted to train, leaving Roach waiting at the gym. In fairness to Roach, he remained diplomatic about the situation, but was evidently angered and deserves better treatment from a fighter who has benefited greatly from working with him.

The result of the fight has proven that Chavez Jr. is out of his depth and does not possess the right attitude to emulate the success his father, or any other great champion for that matter, accomplished.  The fact that people are calling for a rematch is laughable, and the knockdown has very little significance after being dominated for 11 rounds.  Some people have absurdly said that if he stepped it up earlier, he would have stopped Martinez.  Maybe the fact that he did not step it up before the 12th was because he wasn’t able to. Martinez was so dominant in the performance that it was his own bad decision to stand and trade in the 12th that gave Chavez the opportunity to keep his career afloat.

Freddie Roach has overcome a lot of adversity in his life to work consistently hard for his fighters, but this guy just doesn’t get it, and the best thing in this writer’s opinion is for Freddie Roach to sever all ties with Chavez Jr.  Whether you believe Roach played a part in the controversial moments in Chavez Jr.’s recent matches is another matter, but I personally believe that it is a waste of Roach’s time to continue to work with a guy that just seems to neglect all the hard work, and instead seemingly relies on his ridiculous size advantages in each fight to emerge victorious. As we’ve seen, however, against a smart and quick fighter, that is not going to work, and he really should look to fight at a higher weight instead of attempting to take the easier route against smaller guys.

Freddie Roach’s next high-profile bout is Manny Pacquiao’s December fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. A loss for Pacquiao could really open the floodgates for more people to start leaving Roach. It has been noted by other top trainers and fighters in the sport that Roach’s fighters generally have the same weaknesses, a fact that could be attributed to his coaching style. Another loss for Pacquiao will surely ring alarm bells for Roach, and he will surely ask himself not only the question as to what is going wrong, but why is he devoting time and effort to somebody (Chavez Jr.) who seems to believe they know more than him. It will be interesting to see if Freddie Roach can teach this guy some respect and put his foot down on all this garbage, or whether he will decide to walk away, because surely he cannot tolerate this.


  1. Bob Garrett says:

    Chavez has to take a cue from Khan and get rid of Roach. In 3 fights Roach has lost his top 3 fighters world championships. Pacquiao wasn’t prepared for Bradley whatever you think of the decision. Roach has no ability to teach Khan infighting skills, inside defense, or clinching skills. Hunter and Ward will teach Khan these badly needed skills. Chavez has the opposite problem from Khan. He’s a long tall middleweight but has no footwork, no jab, and no straight right. He’s strictly an infighter like his dad. Hunter and Ward could also do wonders for Chavez Jr … Roach was never a technician, and can’t teach anybody technical skills beyond the most rudimentary and fundamental basics.

    • Scott Smith says:

      Bob, Totally agree. I am not Roach’s biggest fan as a lot of my other articles may have suggested, BUT, Chavez Jr’s attitude absolutely stinks, picking and choosing whether he trains or not, leaves his camp waiting at the gym, his relucatance to do tests after fights, weighing gloves… it is just a joke.

      Arguably, Roach could have been involved in those proceedings, and most probably was regarding the testing, but his training attitude for fights stinks, and with Pacquiao as you said not being prepared for his last three fights the way he should be, if Pac is Roach’s main focus, he needs to dump this guy. Roach for me is nothing more than a offense minded motivator, he focusses on skills they already have, and boosts their belief to go on and use them skills to their max (with careful match making) and does not focus on fundamentals, and defense.

  2. tom says:

    well he had 3 fighters
    with khan gone he might be able
    to give more time to chavez and pacquiao

  3. raj says:

    Freddie Roach isn’t a great trainer and he is unprofessional for constantly taking on so many fighters then not giving them the time of day. And yes Freddie you don’t teach your fighters defence. A over rated “trainer of the year” glad he got exposed Chavez Jr should leave him and get a better trainer manny Pacquaio won’t leave him for sure and once Manny retires Freddie can go away too he won’t be missed

  4. Ant Davis says:

    Without an over-all Governing Body..We Will Contiunue to see people enter the Boxing Hall Of Fame for all the Wrong Reasons! Promotional Companies Cause fighters to only be able to fight twice a year because “A Major fight takes 6 months to build”??? Freddie Roach is More of a Manager than a Trainer..and I’m not Knockin Him for that! But these boxers that Choose to Join the Wild Card Illusion are just as much to Blame! They don’t wanna be GREAT CHAMPIONS, they want the fame and a PAYDAY which will allow them to stay in the Loop for the next Opportunity! Look at ORTIZ VS. LOPEZ…which caused one of the Worse Match Ups in HISTORY…and I Like LOPEZ. Its the Culture Now! I could go ON and ON but…….I LOVE BOXING LOL

  5. joe schmo says:

    Basically in this sport everyone outside the ring is an expert “after the fight”. If chavez would have won this article would have been about how great roach is blah blah blah suck suck. Going by what you read online these days if you are a trainer and your guy doesnt win every fight ever then you gotta get rid of him. Screw the 40 something other fights he won, the one he loss to the best middleweight in the world shows his camp is horrible. Chavez would have lost if he was trained the lord himself last fight, martinez was just better end of.

    • Scott Smith says:

      You are getting carried away.

      This is not to slate Roach at all, just to point out that… HE IS TOO GOOD FOR CHAVEZ JR….. Chavez Jr shows him no respect, a man that is battling parkinson’s and working his arse off like he is. and to have a punk like Chavez Jr do what he did is down right disgusting.

  6. mo says:

    its funny how roach has a great training career is inducted into the hall of fame and then his fighters start losing and its all his fault and he sucks. i believe its more coincidental.Chavez is a over rated. khan got caught simlple as that and lost a close fight to peterson who may have been doping boxing is a tough sport and very hard to suceed in. dont forget where khan was before roach he saved khans career and pac man may just need to retire hes had a great run but can not and will not continue to run through opponents like he always has the man has been in alot of wars what do you really expect from him at this point in his career. give freddie a break look how far hes taken all these guys. i dont look at it as hes losing fights for them i see it as he won fights for them they couldnt have with out him at least for khan and chavez

    • Scott Smith says:

      Mo. the article is to actually pay respect and point out that Roach deserves more credit than what he is getting for Chavez Jr…. Chavez is paying the guy no respect.

      This is a man who is battling parkinson’s and working his arse off whilst a punk like Chavez Jr is taking the piss, it is not on. Roach, where you like him or hate him deserves more respect than that.

  7. Donald Ray Dinkins says:

    Freddie has made a ton of money, for someone who is as YOU say, limited. This talk about Hill being the cure all, is conjecture. As far as I see, he’s a one-trick pony like Roger and Floyd Sr. They all have trained ONE fighter of note. Who knows if Hill can make a change in Khan and Angulo. The only change I see, is he’ll make sure they don’t have to fight outside of that rat hole, Oakland.

    • Scott Smith says:

      Nobody denies Roach is a good coach. But Every coach has limitations, and every coach has philosophy, it is quite clear teaching guys the defensive side of offense is not the strong point of Roach.

      There are so many flaws in Chavez Jr’s game it is laughable, but I do not put that down to Roach, it is quite evident that Chavez Jr does not respect anybody but his father, he is selfish and a bad role model for the sport, It would benefit Roach to get rid of that punk. Roach deserves FAR MORE RESPECT, than Chavez is giving him.

  8. porcupine says:

    Khan has all the clinching skills necessary. The last thing Khan needs is to work on his clinching skills. If Khan failed to clinch Garcia, it was not because he didn’t know how. If you doubt me, then watch the Khan-Peterson fight.

    • Scott Smith says:

      his clinching skills is not the issue, it is maintaining a good defense whilst on the offense, because he leaves himself too open and decision making of when to get out of there is poor.

  9. Mike says:

    You can’t blame Roach for Chavez and Pac’s losses. Pac clearly won the fight and Chavez wouldn’t beat Martinez no matter what trainer he has in his corner.

    Khan is a different story but nobody was complaining when he was winning but not that he lost it’s Roach fault. WTF

    • Scott Smith says:

      agreed Mike.

      But Khan it was a matter of time before somebody found him out defensively, he was carefully matched. Maidana nearly took him out, Roach deserves more respect than Chavez Jr is giving him!

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