A Conversation with Freddie Roach
By Gabriel Montoya (Aug 12, 2007) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Everlast)
Before the Pacquiao vs. Barrera press conference began, out along the edge of the teeming throngs of onlookers and reporters of every nationality looking to land that Oscar De La Hoya or Manny Pacquiao ‘exclusive’, stood Freddie Roach quietly taking in the scene with a smile on his face. Always ready and willing to talk the fights, Freddie graciously gave me a moment of his time.

Gabriel Montoya: So Barrera is going to try and convince us that this rematch is going to be different than the first one. Why
is this fight going to be the same?

Freddie Roach:
(smiles) Because I have the younger, stronger, faster guy. We’re gonna make Barrera fight every minute of every round just like we did the first time. But this time we are going to be more offensive because now we have two hands instead of just one. We’re gonna just press him and press him until he quits.

GM: So basically now that you have the two hands…before you had an advantage in that no one knew who Manny was or how dangerous he was. Now the advantage is that he has a right hand to go with his left?

Yes. And he is more …he thinks now. He is not as reckless as he once was. But again, in my mind, the way to beat Barrera is to make him fight every minute of every round. You’ve seen Barrera’s comeback when he fought Prince Naseem or Rocky Juarez in the second fight. If you let him fight at his pace, and let him outbox you and sharp shoot you from outside, he’ll do that. But the thing is if you force him to fight, can he go the twelve hard rounds? I don’t think so. That’s what he did in the first fight and we were very successful in that one and I think we will do the same thing this time.

GM: How good do you think it is for boxing that the floodgates are open and Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions are working together and all the fighters can now fight each other?

It’s great. It’s great. You know it’s great for boxing. Now we got Cotto/Mosley. Fights like that. It opens up a lot of doors for a lot of great fights. Barrera has been asking for a rematch for a long time. He’s deserved the rematch for a long time and he’s been asking for it for a long time. And now he’s got it. Hopefully he does something with it.

GM: Is there any chance that Manny will take him lightly because of how he beat him last time?

I won’t let that happen. But the thing is you got a lotta people telling Manny it’s an easy fight. And that’s the worst thing in the world because it’s not an easy fight. I mean, that’s the only way he can lose the fight is if he takes it lightly and I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen.

GM: So in your opinion the only Manny loses is if he beats himself?

Of course.

GM: Thank you, Freddie. I look forward to seeing you in the gym.

Gabriel at: Coyotefeather@gmail.com
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