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March 12, 2012

By John McCormick

JM: Freddie, the rematch between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson is on May 19th. [Khan lost to Peterson due to the referee's questionable point deduction. As Khan's trainer] what type of game plan are you looking to have Amir use in the rematch? Anything different from the first fight?

Freddie Roach: “The game plan that Amir will use will be very similar to the last fight. Amir laid on the ropes too much in the last fight, and Amir looked bad when he was against the ropes. Lamont would land a lot of body shots and Amir was just letting him do it. We’re going to look for him to use the center of the ring a lot more in this fight.”

JM: From your perspective, was there anything else that Amir did wrong in the first fight? Are you guys looking to practice not shoving as much considering it was a problem in the first fight?

Freddie Roach: “Well you know John, Lamont Peterson would come in head first and Amir was looking to avoid getting hit with a head butt so he would push him away. This time, we will work on firing uppercuts when he comes in head first instead of pushing him away. I think that will be effective with a few other small adjustments that we have to make.”

JM: When does Amir start camp for that fight?

Freddie Roach: “He starts today.”

JM: Freddie, you have been training Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. At this point in Chavez’s career do you believe that he possesses what it takes to defeat Sergio Martinez?

Freddie Roach: “Well Sergio Martinez is a great athlete and a great boxer. I believe Chavez as the boxing ability and background to deal with him. Martinez is a great athlete and he has a lot of speed but I think Chavez is ready for him. The fight I would really like would be for Chavez to fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. Canelo is a guy that’ll bring in the money. Sergio Martinez doesn’t bring along much money and not many people come to see his fights, and you would have to fight him for free but Canelo is the fight I want to see. I think it is the fight that the people want to see also. The winner of a Canelo-Chavez fight would be great for Martinez.”

JM: Speaking of Canelo Alvarez, he is fighting Shane Mosley on May 5th. Who are you picking to win that fight?

Freddie Roach: “Canelo is going to give it to him. This might be it for Shane, for the past four fights he hasn’t looked good and I don’t expect anything different for this fight. It is what it is, we all get old.”

JM: Freddie, we  know a Floyd Mayweather- Manny Pacquiao fight didn’t happen this time because they couldn’t agree on financial issues-- not drug testing. What do you think of Mayweather still insisting that Pacquiao take the test even though Pacquiao has already agreed to do so? [Roach is Pacquiao's trainer].

Freddie Roach: “Floyd doesn’t want to fight. I get tired of people saying why won’t Manny fight him? It’s not like that. Manny would sign the contract to fight him today. Floyd wanted to negotiate purses and he wants to run the show. If he wants to drug test that’s fine, but how about we drug test Floyd every month? He preaches Olympic Style Drug Testing but he isn’t being tested when he isn’t in training camp. Nobody is testing him while he isn’t training because he is off the radar. He needs to practice all of that stuff he preaches. He is always brining racism into a situation that has nothing to do with it, saying Manny won’t fight a young, black fighter. I don’t care what color you are, if you’re purple we will fight you.”

JM: Pacquiao is facing a young fighter in Timothy Bradley on June 9th. What do you see in Bradley as his biggest weakness that you are hoping Manny can exploit?

Freddie Roach: “Well Bradley is a tough, young guy that is coming up and he comes to fight. I think it will be a hell of a fight. I told Manny that we need a good knockout in this fight and put the icing on the cake. You know, Manny has done a lot of things in his life. He has made changes and got rid of a lot of things that distract him during training. Everything that he is doing right now is very good for his career. June 9th I am sure Manny Pacquiao will be focused. We had a bad night last fight and it does happen. Manny wants to start training camp early so we are going to the Philippines this week to start camp with Amir and we will train four to six weeks before we come back to America.”

JM: Give us a prediction for Pacquiao-Bradley.

Freddie Roach: “Well I think Manny will have a spectacular win. The fans want to see a knockout; I want to see a knockout. Bradley is aggressive, he comes to fight and will be fighting until the end but I think Manny will catch him coming in, and knock him out in the later rounds.”

JM: You have been training Manny Pacquiao for some time now. You have been with him for all of his career defining wins. If you could limit it to one fight, which win of Manny’s were you most impressed or proud of him for?

Freddie Roach: “Well I really loved the way he looked in the David Diaz fight; everything was working and coming together in that fight. We have fought a lot of great fights since then. Beating Oscar De La Hoya, the Ricky Hatton knockout was sensational, and the way he took Antonio Margarito apart. They were all great wins but if I had to pick one it would be the second fight with Erik Morales. I remember after we lost to Morales in the first fight, Manny really made great adjustments and used them perfectly in the rematch. I was very proud of him that night.”

JM: Last but not least, since you train both Pacquiao and Khan, if a fight between them were to ever materialize, which corner would you be working on fight night?

Freddie Roach: “I would stay home (laughs). They respect each other a lot. I just called Manny and told him that Amir wants to come to your training camp and work with you and Manny said no problem. People don’t realize how close they are and how much Amir idolizes and looks up to Manny. Maybe that is why Amir goes to the ropes sometimes because he sees Manny do it. That is something I want to stop both of them from doing but hey, it’s part of life.”

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