Pacquiao, Roach 'always been one'

LOS ANGELES • Sometimes, all it takes is initiative to rekindle a relationship.

Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao had been one of boxing's most famous double acts, but their 16-year partnership ended ahead of the Filipino's technical knockout win over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July.

And, on Tuesday, the veteran trainer told Sports Illustrated, in response to Pacquiao's earlier remarks about rehiring him for his Jan 19 welterweight fight against American Adrien Broner, that he was waiting for the eight-division champion to make the first move.

The pair had not "directly spoken" since last year.

Those comments sparked Pacquiao into action, with Roach confirming to Sports Illustrated on Wednesday that he would be in the 39-year-old's corner for the Broner bout in Las Vegas.

Citing a text message from Roach, Sports Illustrated revealed the American had agreed to work with Pacquiao again following late-night talks with the fighter.

"Manny reached out directly," Roach was quoted as saying.

"We sat together one-on-one. I'll be in his corner (on) Jan 19."

The 58-year-old also posted on his Instagram page along with a picture of Pacquiao in training that they had "always been one team working together".

The duo had split in the wake of Pacquiao's surprise defeat by Australian Jeff Horn in July last year, with Roach reportedly upset with his then dismissal.

But now that they have made up and Roach is back as a "supervisor" alongside long-time associate Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao (60 wins, seven losses with 39 knockouts) feels that a good showing against Broner (33 wins, three losses with 24 knockouts) would set up him for a blockbuster rematch with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather (50 wins with 27 knockouts).

"I felt stronger," Pacquiao told news website Rappler about his "scientific" preparations for Broner by calibrating his diet, training and sleep patterns.

"This fight is going to be a good fight. I have to pass through (him) before fighting Floyd Mayweather.

"I want to prove to the boxing fans that Manny Pacquiao is still in the pack."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'Pacquiao, Roach 'always been one''. Print Edition | Subscribe