Sports

Pacquiao, Roach at loggerheads over reunion

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao hopes to be reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach for his January bout against Adrien Broner, but admitted on Tuesday he had not spoken to the veteran cornerman about renewing their partnership.

Pacquiao ended a 16-year association with Roach ahead of his victory over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July, breaking up one of boxing's most famous double-acts.

However the 39-year-old raised eyebrows during a press conference in New York on Monday when he said Roach would be back in his corner for his Jan 19 fight against Broner in Las Vegas.

Roach though expressed bemusement about Pacquiao's announcement in remarks to Sports Illustrated, saying he had not been in contact with his former protege.

"I still have never directly spoken to Manny (since 2017)," Roach said.

"I'm not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I've been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can't call me, there will be no deal."

When asked to clarify the situation by AFP on Tuesday, Pacquiao said he hoped Roach would work as a "supervisor", with long-time associate Buboy Fernandez taking a lead role in training.

"I don't have any problem with Freddie Roach," Pacquiao said 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."

When pressed on whether he had spoken to Roach however, Pacquiao admitted that there had been no contact.

"We have scheduled to talk today," he said. "My idea is to let Buboy handle the mitts, and (Freddie) should just supervise and correct the training situation, or techniques, or anything like that."

Pacquiao said he plans to divide his training camp into two parts, with the first half taking place in the Philippines and the other in the United States.

He still hopes to negotiate a rematch of his 2015 superfight with Floyd Mayweather, but added that any move for a rematch would have to come from Mayweather. - AFP

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