Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, has a well-established reputation as one of boxing’s most honest men.
That trait is one of the reasons Roach has racked up seven trainer of the year awards from the Boxing Writers Assn. of America, including the 2014 version.
So it says something that when Roach was asked Wednesday about the quick-witted comments being attributed to him in news releases this week, all the trainer could do was smile.
Reports circulated this week that Pacquiao’s May 2 opponent, Floyd Mayweather Jr., has hired a distinguished Las Vegas chef, known as Chef Q, to prepare his meals in advance of the pay-per-view bout at MGM Grand.
The estimated cost of each meal was $1,000.
"Whatever it is sure sounds expensive," Roach said in a Wednesday news release sent out by the trainer and fighter’s good-humored publicist Fred Sternburg.
Roach, or Sternburg, offered a suggestion to Chef Q.
"I hope she knows how to make crow and soft foods palatable because after he faces Manny that is all Mayweather will be eating,” Roach was quoted as saying. “I’ve read that Chef Q will be preparing meals high in protein, which is perfect because Floyd is going to be eating a lot of 'Leather a la Manny' and it will be served piping hot.
"Thousand-dollar meals? Give me a break. Floyd is getting his just desserts on May 2."
The first Sternburg release came Tuesday, on St. Patrick’s Day, the proud Bostonian Roach linking the holiday to a recap of Pacquiao’s first day of sparring in preparation for Mayweather.
“When Manny threw out the first punch, it felt like opening day of Irish Spring Training,” Roach joked.
"Manny looked so fresh today. I’m very happy with what he showed me. You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since the [Chris] Algieri fight in November. Manny is on fire in the gym. I am confident May 2 will be celebrated for years to come as St. Manny’s Day – the day he drove Mayweather out of boxing!"
Roach has worked diligently to keep information about training and sparring under wraps. He boots reporters and others – including comedian Dave Chapelle on the opening day of training – out of the gym during strategy sessions.
And each of Pacquiao’s five sparring partners, including one lured from Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas, have signed nondisclosure agreements preventing them from interviews and any other sharing of information.
"After 13 days of strength and conditioning and boxing drills at Wild Card, plus weeks more of working out in the Philippines in February, it was great to finally put on the headgear and spar," Pacquiao said in the news release. "My sparring partners gave me good work. They were perfect for testing the strategy Freddie and I have developed to beat Floyd Mayweather. I was very happy with my stamina and speed today."