Freddie Roach plans to have a “long talk” with Manny Pacquiao after his shocking loss to Jeff Horn, with the trainer admitting to concerns over his fighter’s ability to combine a top-level boxing career with his duties as a senator in the Philippines.
Multi-weight world champion Pacquiao was expected to have few problems Sunday against the unheralded Horn, but suffered a controversial loss at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium as the Australian was declared the winner — and new WBO welterweight champion — by all three judges.
While the verdict was questioned by many, who pointed to Pacquiao landing a much higher percentage of punches and almost stopping his opponent in the ninth round, Roach said: “It went the other way and we have to live with that.”
Asked about Pacquiao’s mindset regarding a possible retirement from boxing, Roach replied: “I’m gonna have a long talk with him over that, because I think maybe being a senator and being a fighter, both is just maybe too much.
“We didn’t have enough time in training camp, the beginning of training camp was not so well; the sparring was bad, he was too light. And then when I came in and we went to General Santos it was a lot easier because he only had one job. And being a boxer is more than enough.
“I’m going to have to have a long talk with Manny and discuss this, see how he feels and I’m going to give him my feelings on it too because I’m a little bit in the middle right now.
“He didn’t fight badly or anything like that, he did well in some of the rounds, but he just wasn’t consistent enough for what I want.”
Roach refused to condemn the judges who scored the fight in Horn’s favour, adding: “I thought it was a pretty close fight. I thought Manny had a real good round in the ninth, maybe a two-point round and I just hoped Manny gave me one more of them and the fight’s over and it’s done.
“But he just couldn’t do it and we lost the decision.”
However, Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, was less than impressed with the officiating.
“It was a bad referee and just crappy judges,” Fortune said. “But when you come into someone’s backyard, you need to really do a number on them or knock them out, that’s basically all there is to it.
“You can make as many excuses as you like, s—y referee, s—y judging, but that’s boxing — you get given a gift sometimes, you get screwed sometimes, but when you come to someone’s house, you have to mess them up, make a statement, never leave it in the judges’ hands.”