Manny splits with coach Roach

LOS ANGELES • Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao has split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach.

In a brief statement, Roach said his 15-year association with Pacquiao, who has won eight world titles in a record eight weight divisions, had been terminated ahead of the southpaw's world title fight with Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur on July 15.

Roach, 58, said he wished Pacquiao well for the future but admitted he had been "hurt" after learning of the Filipino's decision to axe him indirectly.

Last week, Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz told ESPN that the boxer replaced Roach with Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao's lifelong friend and the career-long assistant trainer who has been with him for every fight.

"Manny and I had a great run for 15 years - longer than most marriages and certainly a rarity for boxing," Roach said. "I wouldn't trade any of it. Inside the boxing ring and the political ring, I wish Manny nothing but the best.

"I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't hurt that he didn't contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that."

Roach was an ever-present in Pacquiao's corner during his rise to the pinnacle of his sport.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 15, 2018, with the headline 'Manny splits with coach Roach'. Print Edition | Subscribe