Freddie Roach is bitter and vows that his fighter this time, Manny Pacquiao, will be much better against Chris Algieri.
Roach in June trained junior-welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov for his trip to Brooklyn to fight New York’s Algieri, leaving without the belt.
Provodnikov knocked down Algieri twice in the first round, but couldn’t finish him and lost a split-decision with a New York and Connecticut judge scoring against him.
“Provodnikov was looking for a one-punch knockout after having some success early in the fight, so he got caught up in just trying to land that one shot,” Roach said. “He didn’t put his hands and combinations together and let Algieri out-score him with jabs, even though I still thought Ruslan won that fight, and I do think that fight would’ve been stopped anywhere else in the world. But it wasn’t, and we got a hometown decision against us … tough place to win.”
Be it that dark memory or being tired of traveling the world with Algieri on a promotional blitz that took Pacquiao and Algieri from China (site of their Nov. 22 fight in Macao) to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, Roach then launched into a memorably confident analysis of why Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38) will hand the 20-0 welterweight title challenger his first defeat.
“Manny’s much more versatile,” Roach said. “I see this guy as I did when we fought Oscar De La Hoya (who retired on his stool after nine rounds). He’s left-handed, leads with his power hand -- left jab, left hook are good. Not much of a right. Tall, not quite in Oscar’s league. He can run better than Oscar. We'll win.
“Everyone says he’s so smart because he took a knee in the second [Provodnikov] knockdown. I saw two knees, like he was asking the referee for help to not stop the fight. I don’t see that being the bravest guy in the world, either.”
What impresses about Algieri is his education; he claims a master’s degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University.
Roach isn’t awed.
“That’s not going to … help him in the ring,” Roach said. “Manny has a PhD in boxing. Eight world titles.
“Algieri said he wants to be a doctor, I asked him what kind, and he said a natural doctor. I said, ‘OK, but that’s not really a doctor.’ A master’s degree in nutrition, I've got to look that up, I haven’t found it yet. I don’t think there’s such a thing.
“Is there? Um, I don’t think. The use for it is making a good diet and being healthy.”
Algieri professes that stones he wears on a necklace and bracelet help create positive energy, and have health benefits. He gave a stone necklace to Roach on Wednesday at the fighters’ tour stop in Century City. Roach suffers from pugilistic Parkinson’s syndrome.
“This stone that heals … the thing is, I don’t believe in that,” Roach said. “I don’t believe in magic. I’ve seen the best doctors in the world. I’m doing OK. It doesn’t affect my job. [Ultimate Fighting Championship President] Dana White wants me to go to Germany to get stem-cell treatment … he used it and they cured his vertigo. When I need it, then I’ll go, but the thing is I live every day to its fullest. I’m fine.
“I was in the gym 12 hours [Tuesday]. I’ve got things to do, big fights coming up. I’m going to Russia before training Manny in the Philippines for [Dennis] Lebedev, my cruiserweight champion, and I’m stopping in Texas Saturday for a fight.”
But back to Algieri and the mission of revenge …
“This guy’s a pretty good boxer, but he’s never been in the ring with anyone like Manny Pacquiao,” Roach said. “Ruslan and Manny are complete opposites. Manny would outclass Ruslan. He’s too fast. This guy, he’s a little faster than most people, but he’s nowhere near as fast as Manny Pacquiao -- nowhere near, not even close, and I think we’ll take him to school.”
The bout is being fought at a catch-weight of 144 pounds, as Pacquiao seeks to regain the knockout power that strayed when he moved up to welterweight, recording just three stoppages in his past 11 fights.
The move down could also preview a Pacquiao move to 140 pounds, where he could fight unbeaten world champion Danny Garcia or former training camp partner Amir Khan.
“When we go back to 140, there’s more competition,” Roach said. “I asked [promoter] Bob [Arum] why he put us in there against a runner. Manny does better with guys who come to him. This guy won’t.
“But if he does, he’ll get knocked out.”