Are they reuniting or what?

On Monday in New York, boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao said at a press conference that his former trainer Freddie Roach will work with him in his Jan. 19 fight with American Adrien Broner.

It was an announcement that surprised many, given the circumstances surrounding the men’s breakup.

The duo was one of the most formidable boxing teams since they started working together in 2001, and Pacquiao often said that theirs is almost a father-and-son relationship. Their partnership unraveled, however, when Pacquiao lost to Australian boxer Jeff Horn in July 2017.

According to Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, Pacquiao was disappointed with how Roach managed the aftermath of the fight. Koncz told ESPN: “There was some concerns Manny had in the last fight and some statements Freddie made to the media that Manny wasn’t very pleased about.”

The two haven’t spoken in a long time, which is why Roach was surprised by Pacquiao’s announcement that they’re reuniting for the Broner fight, which will bring the Filipino athlete back in Las Vegas for the first time in more than two years.

Freddie Roach training with Manny Pacquiao
Freddie Roach training with Manny Pacquiao
Roach told Sports Illustrated: “The thing is, I still have never directly spoken to Manny [since he lost to Horn in 2017]. 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.”

Yet Paquiao appeared serious in his desire to reunited with Roach. In interviews, he reiterated that he needed his old trainer back, despite the harsh words spoken by Koncz.

He also said he continues to have a “connection” with Roach and made it sound like work prevented him from communicating with his ex-coach.

Pacquiao was quoted by the Los Angeles Times saying: “I’ve always included Freddie as part of my team. We didn’t lose connection with Freddie. I had work in the Philippines and I had to stay there a long time and I had no time to talk to many people, including many of my friends. … We need Freddie.”

So will they or won’t they?

A tweet posted today by journalist Dyan Castillejo said that Roach will be back in Pacquiao’s corner, but no details were given. As of writing, Pacquiao’s team hasn’t released any statement to announce Roach’s return.

Source: Coconuts Manila