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Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's tough to smash this Roach

Manny Pacquiao calls trainer Freddie Roach his father figure. Roach, 48, doesn't mind the label but is quick to point out that he didn't learn his daddy skills from his own father Paul. A native of Dedham, Mass., Roach told the L.A. Times without much emotion that his own toughness came from his father who ruled with violence tendencies:

If you were to pick a Roach family logo in those days, it might have been a fist surrounded by frightened faces. "If we did something wrong, we got a beating. My dad was a physical guy. If it wasn't one of us, my mother would get it," Freddie says.

Roach was one of seven kids, five boys. All five boys boxed. Freddie went on to become a professional with 39 wins in 53 fights. The others didn't take to Dad's threatening nature the same way:

"My oldest brother, Al, quit boxing at age 16," Freddie says. "So he got tossed out of the house for good. We found out early that life was easier when we made Dad happy."

His father never gained any perspective. Freddie started out his career 26-1 and closed 13-12. Much of the lackluster finish was due to a broken hand that never healed. He got no sympathy from his Dad who was a harsh critic even as Freddie was ready to retire:

His father came to the dressing room and asked how he had been so good at one time and now was so bad. "
I threw him out," Roach says. "That was the last time I talked to him."

Roach is tight with his brothers, sisters and mother. Five of the Roaches will be attendance for the big fight. Dad won't be there, he passed away in 1992 from Alzheimers disease.

-from yahoo sports

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