All’s well that ends well.
The16-month drama starring Filipino eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and his American Hall of Fame trainer of16-year Freddie Roach is believed to have been resolved with finality.
Hours after the last and second leg of the two-city press tour in Los Angeles Wednesday (Manila time) aimed at hyping the defending World Boxing Association welterweight titlist and challenger Adrien Broner, the two met for the first time since their last in 2017 following the Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight in Australia where the Filipino lost his World Boxing Organization 147-pound plum.
“Yup, MP (Manny Pacquiao) met Freddie,” the now Philippine Senator’s chief legal Counsel, Tom Falgui, told this writer via text message right after the meeting.
“Freddie is now part of Team Pacquiao. Manny will train in he Wild Card Gym and Freddie will help strategize in the overall plan for the January 19 fight,” Atty. Falgui assured.
The meeting, held at the Senator’s suite at Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, was set at 9:30 pm but Roach arrived a few minutes before the scheduled time accompanied by his executive assistant Marie Spivey.
Present during the short meeting were Pacquiao’s new take-charge guy Joe Ramos and Canadian adviser Mike Koncz.
Asked how the meeting took place, Falgui said: “Pinapunta ni Manny si Freddie sa hotel para mag-usap sila.”
Two days before the Waldorf Astoria meeting, Roach, in a report by the Sport llustrated.com received a call from Ramos, the COO of Manny Pacquiao Promotions at present, who broached the idea of his return to Pacquiao’s team.
Roach, a Hall of Fame trainer and a seven-time Trainer of the Year honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America, who charted the Philippine pride’s prizefighting career since 2001, insisted that he first talk to Pacquiao before making decision.
It was during the New York leg of the promotional tour that Pacquiao told the media that Roach will be tapped as a training supervisor or consultant withn Fernandez taking over the overall preparations.
“I don’t have any problem with Freddie Roach,” Pacquiao was quoted as telling said reporters at a media roundtable. “All I say is that I think the other work in training should be assigned or designated to Buboy.
“Freddie can supervise or instruct Buboy, this is what we’re going to do.”
Pacquiao said he plans to divide his training camp into two parts, with the first half taking place in the Philippines and the final part in the United States.
He said Roach would play no part in the Philippines leg of his training camp.
“He can just wait here,” he said. “I’ll be here next month in December.”
Despite the father-son like bond they had shared for over a decade, Pacquiao said he could not remember the last time he spoke to Roach, blaming demands of his role as a Senator in the Philippines for the rupture.
“It’s been a long time ago,” Pacquiao said. “A long time ago that I didn’t speak to Freddie. I was busy in the Philippines.
“I don’t even have time to come to United States for a vacation for relaxation. It’s really busy being a Senator.”
Pacquiao, who turns 40 next month, has not fought in the United States for two years.
All’s well that ends well.