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‘On Freddie Roach’ gives a glimpse of boxing trainer

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Boxing trainer Freddie Roach is the subject of a new reality series from director Peter Berg (‘Friday Night Lights’) that will debut Friday on HBO; titled, ‘On Freddie Roach,’ it’s a six-part series co-produced by HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley.

The series delves not only into Roach’s standing as the world’s top boxing trainer, but into his struggle with boxing-related Parkinson’s symptoms. Roach had 53 pro fights as a lightweight before retiring in 1986, though he ignored the advice of his legendary trainer, Eddie Futch, to retire and was pounded in his last six fights.

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‘It’s hard to watch,’ Roach said of the series. ‘I truly let people into my life: good, bad, happy, lucky, sad. It’s a bit overwhelming. I always wanted to be famous, but be careful what you wish for.’

At a screening of Friday’s premiere episode in New York, Roach said he was struck ‘that I shake so much,’ because of Parkinson’s.

‘I still don’t think of it that much,’ he said. ‘I used to get mad when [people] would stare. I don’t get mad anymore, because so many people have approached me and wanted to help, to recommend a doctor or get me one of those ‘magic cures.’

‘This will show how difficult [Parkinson’s] is, but it still doesn’t affect what I do. I’m still working … I wrap hands better than anyone, work the mitts. You can overcome anything with hard work and desire, and that’s what I wanted to show.’

You can watch a clip from the show in the video above.

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--Lance Pugmire


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