Viktor Postol/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach on Thursday had some rather threatening words for the Terence Crawford camp. Crawford and Viktor Postol, who is trained by Roach, will tangle in a junior welterweight title-unification bout July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).
During a conference call, Roach intimated Team Crawford might be taking a victory for granted.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” Roach said. “I think that maybe they (Team Crawford) are underestimating us a little bit. But they’ll pay for that.”
Crawford, 28, is from Omaha, Neb. He is 28-0 with 20 knockouts. Postol, 32, is from the Ukraine. He is 28-0 with 12 knockouts.
Viktor Postol wears his new championship belt after winning the junior welterweight title with a 10th-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse on Oct. 3 at StubHub Center/Photo by Gene Blevins
You can bet that when Viktor Postol took on Lucas Matthysse for a vacant junior welterweight title this past Oct. 3 at StubHub Center in Carson, more fans expected Matthysse to emerge victorious than Postol.
But it was Postol who stunned the crowd by knocking out Matthysse in the 10th round to win the championship.
Postol, who will take on Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) on July 23 in a title-unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view), on Monday recalled that special night.
“The fight with Matthysse was my most challenging and memorable because it was my first world championship fight and I was fighting for the title against one of the strongest punchers in the division,” Postol said from the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where he is trained by Freddie Roach. “The importance of this fight for my career and my life was not lost on me.”
Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) has a knockout ratio of 81 percent, so the thinking was if anyone was going to win by knockout, it would be him because Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) has a knockout ratio of just 43 percent.
Roach couldn’t say enough about his fighter’s work.
“It was a very good performance,” Roach said. “We were in charge of the fight the whole time. Viktor followed the game plan perfectly. I remember before the last round I told our corner that Matthysse was very tired and ready to go out. He was coming in with his head leaning down.”
Freddie Roach, like just about everyone else, thought Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley in their June 2012 welterweight title fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But Bradley was judged the split-decision winner.
Not surprisingly, C.J. Ross was one of two judges who gave the fight to Bradley by a 115-113 count; Duane Ford was the other. (You might remember that Ross was the judge who had the September 2013 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez a draw; that says it all.)
Pacquiao is currently at Roach’s Wild Card gym in Hollywood, where Roach is preparing him for the April 12 rematch with Bradley at MGM Grand (on HBO pay-per-view). Roach remains peeved about the scoring in the first fight, to be sure. He vows to make sure Pacquiao leaves no doubt this time.
“We are training for big game in this fight,” Roach said Tuesday. “Manny knows he is going to have to hunt Bradley down and close the show this time. The first fight with Bradley was so easy for Manny that after six rounds he just took it easy on him. Not this time. Our mantra is ‘Close the show. No mercy.’ You don’t have to be a groundhog to know that Bradley’s days as welterweight champ are numbered. It’s last call for Bradley on April 12.
Bradley, of Palm Springs, is 31-0 with 12 knockouts. Pacquiao, of the Philippines, is 55-5-2 with 38 knockouts.
Freddie Roach has been named Trainer of the Year for the sixth time by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Roach, who most notably trains Manny Pacquiao, trains fighters out of his Wild Card gym in Hollywood.
“It’s good to be back,” said Roach, who also won the award in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. :”We had one year off when it seemed like nothing was going our way. But last year it all came together again. I’d like to thank the BWAA for this honor and even though I may be the recipient, I represent the collective efforts of the most talented and hardest-working fighters and assistant trainers in the world, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”
According to an Associated Press story, Manny Pacquiao wants to make the Brandon Rios camp pay for its strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, mocking Freddie Roach’s speech just before Ariza kicked Roach in the chest during a brawl between the camps Wednesday in Macau, China.
Roach indicated Pacquiao will do that by dispatching Rios early when the fighters duke it out Saturday at the Venetian Resort in Macau (on HBO pay-per-view).
Roach, who has Parkinson’s, and Ariza are bitter enemies. Ariza worked in the Pacquiao camp for years before he was let go, apparently at the behest of Roach. The camps tangled at a Macau gym because the Rios camp was there longer than it was supposed to be, cutting into Pacquiao’s time.
Roach said in the AP story that Pacquiao watched video of the incident, and that he was not pleased.
“(Pacquiao) said to me, ‘Are those the guys that made fun of you?’ ” Roach said. “And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘That’s all I need to know,’ and he walked away.
“He told me he’s going to take care of this guy quickly.”
Everyone is well aware by now of the brief brawl between the Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios camps Wednesday morning in Macau, China, where the two fighters will meet Saturday in the welterweight main event (on HBO pay-per-view).
But even a day earlier, Robert Garcia was making a bold statement regarding Pacquiao’s apparent bleak future as a fighter. Garcia trains Rios.
“Twice during the two episodes of ’24/7′ I’ve heard Freddie Roach say he will ask Manny Pacquiao to retire if he loses to Brandon Rios,” Garcia said. “Well, Freddie had better buy that gold watch for Manny, because the retirement party begins on Saturday night. I guarantee you this will be the last time you ever see Manny Pacquiao on an HBO Pay-Per-View.”
Roach, of course, trains Pacquiao, His beef with the Garcia camp Wednesday that resulted in Roach being kicked in the chest by Rios’ strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, is bound to make Thursday’s third and final episode of “24/7: Pacquiao/Rios.”
We reported earlier that there was an altercation between members of the Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios camps Wednesday morning at a gym in Macau, China, where the fighters will square off Saturday in the welterweight main event (on HBO pay-per-view).
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was peeved that Rios and his team were still in the gym at 11 a.m. Macau time even though that’s when Pacquiao is supposed to get the facility. Roach and Robert Garcia – Rios’ trainer – exchanged harsh words. At one point, Alex Ariza apparently started mocking Roach the way he talks because he has Parkinson’s, according to a report on ESPN.com.
At that point, Roach took a step toward Ariza, who kicked Roach in the chest. There has been no love lost between Roach and Ariza, who used to be the strength and conditioning coach for Pacquiao, but now holds that role for Rios after he was let go by Team Pacquiao.
That same report on ESPN.com said that Roach referred to an obviously upset member of Rios’ camp who was shouting at Roach, as a “Mexican mother (expletive).”
An argument over gym time turned physical when Alex Ariza kicked Freddie Roach in the chest on Wednesday morning at a gym in Macau, China.
That’s where Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios will square off Saturday in the welterweight main event at the Venetian Resort (on HBO pay-per-view).
Roach trains Pacquiao, Robert Garcia trains Rios. As for Ariza, he used to be the strength and conditioning coach for Pacquiao, but now has that role in the Rios camp.
A video shows Roach and Garcia arguing over Team Rios still being in the gym at 11 a.m. (Macau time) even though Pacquiao’s time starts at 11. As the two exchange barbs, a member of Rios’ camp is beside himself and has to be restrained and Ariza and Roach begin to jaw at each other.
Roach took a step toward Ariza, who then kicked Roach in the chest. Roach told security he wanted Ariza arrested.
There is a video out there that can be found on YouTube. We can’t post it here because it contains quite a bit of foul language.
While it’s true that Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round last December in Las Vegas, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach believes that a fight between Pacquiao and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a hot ticket if they both get past their next fights.
Mayweather will take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 14 in a junior middleweight title fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view). Pacquiao will square off with former lightweight champion Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 in Macao, China (on HBO pay-per-view).
“Yeah, I think the world is still very interested in that fight,” Roach, who trains Pacquiao, said Thursday at his Wild Card gym in Hollywood. “We don’t hear as much about it as we once did, but the thing is it’s still the biggest fight in the world, I think. Mayweather’s got like four fights left after this on his contract (with Showtime). He doesn’t have four opponents without putting Manny Pacquiao in there as one of them. I think he’ll have to fight him sometime within the next year.”
Roach suggested anything less than a sterling performance against Rios could hurt the chances of that fight finally being made.
“The thing is,” Roach said, “we need to look good in this fight.”
Manny Pacquiao typically trains at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, which is home to his trainer Freddie Roach. Sometimes Pacquiao will start training in his native Philippines, then come to Wild Card for the last month to six weeks.
However, Roach told this newspaper Thursday that Pacquiao will do all his training in the Philippines for his Nov. 23 fight against Brandon Rios (on HBO pay-per-view). That’s because the fight venue, the Venetian Resort Casino in Macao, China, is not far from the area of the Philippines in which Pacquiao will train.
“We have to consider the jet-lag issue,” Roach said. “Macao is only an hour and a half away (by plane).”
Roach said he didn’t relish the idea of being away from his gym for an extended period of time, but that this is what’s best for Pacquiao, who is coming off a devastating sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez this past December in Las Vegas.