Trainer Freddie Roach was finally back at his familiar haunts of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, this week after a spell in the Ukraine and then joining Manny Pacquiao and crew for the final stage of last week’s press tour in Arlington, Texas for their upcoming assignment against Antonio Margarito on November 13th at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
But soon enough, Roach will be headed to Philippines to train their most famous politician.
"Alex Ariza is going to be going over there this week [to] start working on the conditioning with Manny in Manila," said Roach, on Tuesday afternoon at his gym. "Then I'm going to go over there on the 17th, so I arrive on the 19th. So we go to Baguio on the 19th and start training there on the 20th."
According to Roach, they will stay there, "for one month and we come back to the Wild Card for three weeks and then the last week will be in Dallas."
Last week was the first time he had an opportunity to talk to the “Pac-Man” since early June in New York, when Pacquiao was honored as the “Boxer of the Decade” by the BWAA. Most of their conversation centered around their upcoming camp.
"Manila's a little bit distracting; we all agreed on that. I asked him if he has to be in Congress on any part of the training camp and he said, 'Well, they want me in on Mondays.' I said, 'Well, if that's what it's going to be, we'll work Sundays and have Mondays off.' But then he got the call from one of the higher-up guys in Congress and they gave him the complete time off. So he's not going to have duties in training camp," explained Roach, who plans to bring along Vanes Martirosyan, Rashad Holloway and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as sparring partners.
The question, with a fight with Floyd Mayweather (who seems to have his own set of problems right now) going to the wayside and all that's on his plate outside the ring, just how focused is Pacquiao on facing Margarito?
Roach claims, "He's excited for the fight; he knows he has a big, strong guy in front of him. He's going to be motivated. The thing is, I think it can be an easy fight but we have to be at 100-percent- and that's what we intend to be."
Count me in as someone who is skeptical about a bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Miguel Cotto fight taking place on December 4th (I think it's even 50-50 that he even shows up in the Philippines. I mean, they can barely get that kid to show up to Hollywood, for Pete’s sake).
When asked about the possibility of that fight, Roach admitted, "That is still up in the air. We don't know exactly. Again, I told Bruce Trampler and Bob Arum that I would like to have at least one or two more fights before that fight. But if it doesn't work out, I've got three months to get him ready for that fight. It gives me enough time, I think, to get ready for a fight like that. But again, it's a very tough fight and I want to make sure he's 100-percent ready before he's ready to take that fight."
Geez, it wasn't all that long ago that the worst problem facing Floyd was the perception that he was a racist. Well, on Thursday afternoon his reputation took another hit as this story came out: http://www.tmz.com/2010/09/09/floyd-mayweather-arrested-las-vegas-disturbance-cops-police-domestic-violence/.
Again, he's just a “suspect” but there is that troubling track record of his and his family history of domestic violence.
When asked about Mayweather's recent comments regarding Pacquiao and the like, Roach surmised that this, "shows his true intelligence. I don't think he's a racist. I think it's ignorance. I don't think he meant anything racist when he said that. But if Manny said the same thing back, there would be a lot more news about it; believe me."
That issue now seems to be the least of his problems.
While it's not finalized, I'm told that Kathy Duva of Main Events is reasonably confident that all the remaining issues that remain between them, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO will be solved and that Zab Judah will play host to Lucas Matthysse in a junior welterweight fight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey as the main event on “Boxing After Dark.”
Co-headlining this card will be Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero who could be facing Vicente Escobedo. This card will also feature the return of junior middleweight James Kirkland.
By the time you guys read this, I will be in Columbus, Ohio, as the Miami Hurricanes travel to play the Ohio State Buckeyes. Can they pull the upset? Well, it would help if Terrelle Pryor has another Purdue-like game in him...I really like the documentary on Kassim Ouma on Sundance (“Kassim the Dream”) especially that part where he drops the N-bomb in regard to the Ugandan president. And by “N-bomb,” I don't mean “nuclear” or “ninja.”...Big weekend of boxing, from “ShoBox” to “Solo Boxeo” to HBO, I'll be DVR'ing all of them and watching them as I get home on Sunday...By the way, didn't Mayweather say he wasn't fighting again in 2010?...This week’s edition of “The Main Event” features trainers Robert Garcia and Barry Hunter....