Former Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is scheduled to begin a six-week post-Thanksgiving camp that will determine if he’ll return to the octagon, boxing trainer Freddie Roach said Thursday.
Roach said Canada’s St-Pierre, 34, will arrive at the trainer’s Wild Card Boxing Club in “about 10 days,” and has said he’ll only return if Roach is among those in his corner.
St-Pierre (25-2) was the UFC’s strongest pay-per-view draw before announcing his retirement following his hard-fought Nov. 16, 2013, split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks.
“He’s very logical about [a possible return],” Roach said. “He’s going to have a six-week training camp. We’re going to train every day like we’re having a fight, and at the end of the six weeks, if he feels he has the desire to go on with it — if he wants to fight — then we will fight again.
“If he doesn’t, we’ll call it quits.”
Upon his departure from the UFC, St-Pierre expressed disappointment with the quality of the organization’s drug-testing plan, which has since been tightened by an alignment with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the hiring of former BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky.
Roach previously told The Times that St-Pierre also previously expressed concerns to him over the head trauma he endured in the bloody Hendricks fight. Roach suffers from Parkinson’s syndrome brought about by his boxing career.
“I teach him boxing the best I can, but it’s still not his best asset — going to the ground is,” Roach said. “He’s getting better at boxing, not at a world-champion-caliber, but better.”
On Jan. 2 at the MGM Grand, current UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will defend his belt against Carlos Condit.
UFC President Dana White said that while he’d be thrilled to have St-Pierre back fighting, it was unlikely that the former champion would return to the octagon.
“I highly doubt it’s going to happen because GSP’s been off for too long and has a ton of money,” White said. “You don’t do a six-week camp to learn if you have the hunger. You either know it or not. Robbie Lawler knows it, he’s hungry, he trains like an animal.
“You’re either hungry and an animal or you're not.”
White said he learned from Roach of the training camp.
“It’d be great if he comes back, yes, I love Georges St-Pierre — amazing athlete — but comeback talk? I laugh at it. To be a world champion, you have to be hungry.
“That’s not GSP. Not even close.”
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