The Wizard of WildCard - Interview with Freddie Roach (On Pacquiao, Cotto, Mayweather and More!)
By David Tyler, Doghouse Boxing (Aug 11, 2009) Photo © Landry Major  
That would be boxing’s greatest trainer, Freddie Roach. Last week I asked doghouse boxing readers to submit any questions for Freddie The reader’s questions and answers would be an article. So for all the readers of doghouse boxing, this one’s for you!

The following interview took place at the WildCard Gym in Hollywood, August 11, 2009.

David Tyler: Fred, have you a plan to offset Miguel Cotto’s counterpunching that’s coupled with his heavy hands?

Freddie Roach:
Of course. I have already watched several hours of Cotto’s fights. I have been concentrating on how well he did against Shane Mosley. How he neutralized Shane’s speed. Yes, we will have a great game plan for Cotto.

DT – A reader wants to know if Cotto purposely looked bad against Clottey so he could get a big payday against the Ninja.

FR -
That’s a question for Cotto. He almost lost the Clottey fight and I can’t imagine him holding back.

DT – Of all the Filipino prospects in boxing, who do think can emulate Manny’s achievements after he retires into politics?

FR –
We will not see another Manny Pacquiao for another decade or more. Guys like Manny Pacquiao and Muhammad Ali come along once in a lifetime.

DT- Why do you think the Ninja told Bob Arum that he wanted to fight Cotto?

FR –
Well, that’s not necessarily so. He said he would fight Cotto after watching Cotto fight Clottey in the Garden. Manny has always wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Mayweather fight got delayed because of injury and Manny needed a fight around year’s end. After watching the fight Manny told Arum that he could beat Cotto. He never ask Arum to go get Cotto, he still wanted Mayweather first.

DT – Assuming that the Ninja takes care of Cotto and Mayweather Jr. will Manny retire and go into politics?

FR –
Possibly, but Shane Mosley is doing a lot of talking and I want to see that fight happen. Manny has said three more fights and that’s it.

DT – Any update on the training camp issues?

FR –
Because of immigration laws he must spend five weeks training outside America. The laws say we can spend 183 days (yearly) in America and that means the last three weeks of training will be here at the WildCard. Right now the plans are to train in Baguio City in the Philippines at the Olympic Training Center. Why don’t you come along and give daily reports from the training center?

DT – I’ll have to think about that one. Next question is from a reader who says that he is a big fan of Mayweather Jr. and the Ninja. Do you honestly believe that the Ninja will Kayo Mayweather Jr.?

FR –
You know that I’m just trying to make the fight happen. Mayweather is a great fighter and champion but I’m sure that Manny will beat him. At the higher weight I just don’t see him as a great fighter. At 134 lbs. yes he was a great fighter.

DT – So no Kayo?

FR –
I will have to break him down when the fight comes and specifically watch for performance flaws. Before I start predicting knockout rounds I need to see Floyd fight Marquez and study that tape many times.

DT – Do you think Manny’s chin can hold up to Cotto’s power?

FR –
Manny is not going to back out for anybody. Manny has a really good chin because he has a big heart. Of course Cotto’s power is a major concern for me but I really think that we will have no problems. I’m training Manny not to get hit.

DT – Would you consider retiring when Manny retires?

FR –
I will not retire because I just don’t know what I would do. I have been in the boxing business all of my life and I don’t know anything else. I just can’t see sitting at home all day so I probably will never retire.

DT – Many fans greatly admire what you have accomplished even though you suffer from Parkinson’s disease. How do manage this?

FR –
The key is to accept it and move on. I keep very busy and I’m not going to roll over and die. Stay active, if you let the disease take over it will. That’s also true with anything in life.

DT – Fred how would Vernon Forrest have fared against the following fighters, Shane Mosley (trained by Nazim), Felix Trinidad, Paul Williams, and Mayweather Jr.

FR –
Forrest would beat Mosley for the third time. Trinidad and Forrest would be a good fight, hard to pick a winner. Paul Williams would surely beat Forrest. Mayweather would also be a good fight and I’m not sure who wins that one.

DT – Pacquiao on occasion tends to pull up his shorts with both his gloves. Usually he’s a good distance away from the other fighter but does this open himself up?

FR –
I know exactly what your reader means and I love it when he does that (Fred pulls up the shorts and snaps his hands together above his head). That means get ready because here I come. He always does that when he is out of range.

DT – When you were a fighter who hit the hardest.

FR –
Lenny Valdez the first guy to knock me out. He was a great puncher early but faded in fights. I got caught in the second round and was never the same after that fight.

DT – Fred, a reader owns a Mexican Restaurant in Huntington Park called Casa Luz. He would like to bet you a dinner that Marquez will Kayo the Ninja in their next fight.

FR –
I will bet my gym against his restaurant that Marquez never Kayos Manny.

DT – Shane Mosley pushed hard for a fight with the Ninja. Why did Manny decide to fight Cotto instead of Shane?

FR –
It wasn’t Manny’s decision. It was my decision and the group’s decision. The main reason? We will make more than twice as much money fighting Cotto than Mosley.

DT – Fred, on behalf of Doghouse boxing and the readers, thank you for answering the questions.

FR –
Dave, no problem. Anytime, it’s always fun to talk boxing and I look forward to the next set of questions. I think it is great that your readers get a chance to provide feedback.

DT – We had lots of feedback with your P4P list. Would you name you all time P4P list and elaborate on each pick?

FR –
Yep, let’s start with…………

Attention readers, you will get to see Freddie’s list later this week. And no, Amir Khan did not make Fred’s all time list. I will work on the article tomorrow and hopefully we get it posted this week.

Once again, thank you for supporting doghouse boxing and helping me with this article.

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