02:05 AM September 23rd, 2012

By: Beth Celis, September 23rd, 2012 02:05 AM


In a span of four months this year, three of trainer Freddie Roach’s most prized fighters  lost successively.

Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao started the streak when he lost  last June 9 to  the undefeated  Timothy Bradley  by  a highly controversial split decision.

Barely a few weeks later in July, Briton Amir Khan, another Roach boy who regularly comes to Manila to train and spar with  Manny, was beaten by Danny Garcia in  what was described in the websites as a “stunning  fourth-round stoppage.”

Khan relinquished  the light welterweight  title.

It was Amir’s second straight loss. He also lost last December to Lamont Peterson by a split decision.

Then, only last weekend, it was  the erstwhile undefeated  Julio Cesar Chavez ’s turn to fall in the hands  of  37-year-old Sergio Martinez.

Just as  the Argentine promised boxing fans,  he gave Chavez a sound beating by dominating the first 11 rounds of the fight. Experts said   that although  much smaller, Martinez was simply  “too fast, too athletic and too good  for the son of a legend.”

Three defeats for Roach from June to September.  Is this only a spell  of bad luck or is  the boxing Hall-of-Famer losing his touch, as a colleague suggested?

* * *

Following his loss to Garcia, Khan made the startling announcement that he was changing his trainer.

“After nearly four years together in  which we enjoyed  some great success,  I part with my trainer Freddie Roach,” Khan said as he thanked  him for his hard work,  and the progress he made while under his care.

Khan also credited Roach  for having opened the doors  for him “to meet some fantastic people.”

“However, I feel  that now is the right time in my career to make a fresh change and bring in a new trainer.”

“I  am excited and looking forward to the prospect of  working with someone  new.”

Khan explained  that there are  “some special aspects of  my game that  I’m looking  to work on  and hopefully improve .”

With his next training camp starting this October,  Khan recently announced the appointment of Virgil Hunter as his new trainer.

* * *

Apparently, Khan blamed Roach for his last two losses, although it was also Roach who was responsible for giving him  two world titles.

Before parting ways with his trainer of four years, Khan said he would reconsider his position, only if Roach could guarantee his presence in Khan’s pre-fight training camps. He felt that Roach was spending too much  time with Pacquiao, and was jealous that he was making Pacquiao his priority.

Actually, it wasn’t only Roach who  suffered a triple whammy in four months this year. Alex Ariza is in the same boat since he is also the conditioning coach of Manny, Amir and  Chavez Jr.

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