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?
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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.
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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.