When it comes to the “sweet science” of boxing, there is one man who is a pure boxing guru and that man is Freddie Roach. Roach however, has gained a new interest as he joins the ranks among those who can’t wait to see current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre, 21-2, face current Middleweight Champion and pound for pound king Anderson Silva, 27-4, in the rumored superfight of colossal proportions.
After boxing’s hype balloon on biggest fight in many years went up like the Zeppelin, Roach, who’s been a boxing consultant for both champs over the years, thinks it’s the biggest possible draw for MMA in the sports history. Roach spoke on the bout saying “It’s Pacquiao-Mayweather in MMA, It’s one guy going up in weight to fight the bigger and better – supposedly better – guy.”
Roach has trained some of boxing’s biggest stars including multi-division champ and current boxing king Manny Pacquiao as well as Oscar De La Hoya and the brother Klitschkos as well as many others. When it comes to fighting, Roach also knows about the heartache, pain, and agony that comes with lost opportunity. After the endless months of rumors and hype about a possible megafight between boxing’s only two “elite” fighters, Manny Pacquiao and welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather, JR., Roach gave the interview this past November which he announced it as the fight that would never happen.
Roach who at this point of his career is 50 years old said he actually has a closer relationship to St-Pierre than Anderson Silva. The welterweight champion sought out after Roach to be as prepared as possible for his sixth title defense at UFC 124 against Josh Koscheck, and also asked Roach to be his corner man which Roach only declined due to prior commitments.
Roach was in aw at the discipline Georges St-Pierre had brought to the table during their work training and predicted a left hook knockout of Koscheck. Although that didn’t happen for St-Pierre, he used a disgusting jab that broke Koscheck’s orbital with the first punch of the fight and jabbed his way to a brutal decision with only his jab.
It’s been over a year since Freddie Roach worked steadily with pound for pound king Anderson Silva, though his time with the middleweight champ certainly left an impression as Anderson Silva is the best fighter on the planet be it boxing or MMA. “Anderson is a better boxer at this point,” Roach said. But Roach believes even though St-Pierre is somewhat of an underdog, Roach thinks he might be able to change that. “There’s some things I’ve learned about Anderson that I think I can help Georges with,” he said. “Because I’ve worked with [Anderson] closely, and Anderson is a very clever fighter.”
How clever a fighter? So clever, in fact, that Freddie Roach thinks Anderson Silva has often mailed it in during his long reign as middleweight champion although, that won’t be an issue for this fight, he added. “That’s one fight I don’t think you have to worry about Anderson not getting up for, He will get up for [St-Pierre]. Because he doesn’t always get up for fights like talented people do at times. Sometimes it comes so easily and natural to them that they get a bit lazy. But for that fight, I expect both guys to be at their best. Georges is stronger physically and can rough him up on the inside. Anderson’s more of a technician and knows distance. Distance is the key to that fight.”
Now, St-Pierre just needs to get passed Jake Shields, 26-4-1, at UFC 129 and Roach may not be just talking about this fight but taking part in the outcome of it.