Freddie Roach jets to boxing Hall after fight
LAS VEGAS -- Freddie Roach wasn't going to let a fight -- even one involving Manny Pacquiao -- stand in the way of his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Roach worked Pacquiao's corner last night against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, then was scheduled to fly across the country for the ceremony this afternoon in Canastota, N.Y. To make it there in time, he has chartered a private jet at a cost of $26,000.
"I rented a plane," Roach said. "But I'm not too happy about it."
Roach will be joined on the plane by several family members and ring announcer Michael Buffer, who is also being inducted. Buffer also will work the Pacquiao-Bradley contest at the MGM Grand hotel.
Roach said the plane can take off as late as 2 a.m. for the flight to Syracuse, leaving him some time if something goes wrong in the fight.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal," Roach said.
Roach fought as a lightweight for eight years before retiring in 1986 with a 40-13 record. He never got a title fight, but fought the likes of Bobby Chacon, Greg Haugen and Hector Camacho.
He is being inducted in the boxing Hall for his work as a trainer, most notably for the 11 years he has been in Pacquiao's corner.
Also inducted will be Thomas Hearns, Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson, broadcaster Al Bernstein and writer Michael Katz.
Pacman risked 15 win streak
Manny Pacquiao was risking a 15-fight winning streak when he defends his piece of the welterweight title against Bradley. He hasn't lost in seven years and his recent fights have all been big pay-per-view events that made him millions. But the pressures of being at the top of his sport and both a national hero and congressman in the Philippines fueled a bloated lifestyle that couldn't be sustained.
Pacquiao gave up drinking, and he gave up gambling. He gave away his cockfighting ranch in the Philippines and sold his interest in a casino there.
He found a spiritual adviser, and now spends his spare moments reading and discussing the Bible.
"The things I did over and over in the past, I stopped those," Pacquiao said. "I know now if I die today, I know where I'm going. It's helped a lot in my personal life and my boxing life."
While training in Los Angeles last week, Pacquiao seemed focused as he sparred six rounds with two sparring partners. He dismissed concerns that his new dedication to religion would somehow make him less aggressive in the ring, and said he doesn't feel like he's lost any of his speed or his power at the age of 33.