Freddie Roach reacts to Manny Pacquiao's KO win: 'He did great'

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 20, 2018 04:33 PM
Roach reacts to Pacquiao's KO win: 'He did great'
(AP Photo)

Manny Pacquiao once again drew praise from the boxing world, Sunday morning, after knocking out Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in seven rounds to capture the WBA (regular) Welterweight World Champion. 

The seventh-round KO win, the result of a well-placed uppercut, was Pacquiao's first KO win since 2009, and it gave him his eleventh run as a world title holder. 

Many called it a vintage Manny Pacquiao performance, as he displayed aggression and dominance that many felt he lacked in his previous fights, especially his loss to Jeff Horn in Australia. 

Among those that gave Pacquiao rave reviews for his most recent win was none other than long-time head trainer Freddie Roach. 

Sunday's encounter in Kuala Lumpur was Pacquiao's first fight without Roach, who had been in his corner for the last 15-plus years and 34 fights. 

"He did great," Roach said in an interview with FightHype.com. "[He and Buboy worked together], he fought a great fight, he did really well, he found an opening with the uppercut, and once he hurt him, it was over," 

Pacquiao and Roach's split went public last April, which came as a shock to a lot of people. According to Roach, he wasn't informed of the change personally. 

Days later, during the press launch for Pacquiao's fight with Matthysse, the eight division boxing world champion said that he wasn't closing the door on working with Roach again. 

(READ: Manny Pacquiao ‘not closing the door’ on Freddie Roach)

Taking Roach's place at the top of Pacquiao's training team was Manny's long time friend Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri. 

"Manny's speed has always been there, it's never left him, his speed is a great asset, and it helped him so much in that fight." Roach added. 

Now the question shifts to what's next for Pacquiao, who's expected to fight once again later this year. 

Names that have surfaced are WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford and WBA (Super) Lightweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko. 

For Roach, he believes that both options will present tough challenges for Pacquiao, but the Pinoy boxing legend will have to prepare for guys like those.

"That's a very tough fight, the thing is, he'll really have to get in great shape for that fight."

"Very difficult fights, but if he's going to continue fighting, he's gotta get ready for fights like that." Roach added. 

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