Coach Freddie Roach Just Did the Right Thing: "Prevention Is Better than Cure"

Huwebes FernandezCorrespondent IApril 28, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24:  Muhammad Ali attends the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September 24, 2008 in New York City. President Clinton is hosting the fourth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a gathering of politicians celebrities, philanthropists and business leaders grouped together to discuss pressing global issues.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the brain that frequently damages speech, motor skills, and other functions of the body. It is also characterized by muscle stiffness, shaking, and, in severe cases, a deficiency and slowing of physical movement.

As we knew, Muhammad Ali represents this one of a kind disorder that is often blamed on his late boxing career.

Consecutive blows in his head in his semi-retirement fights led to this treacherous time bomb that he did not anticipate. No one knew in those days that his great and legendary career would only be marred by this type of perilous malady.

No one knew back then that this type of disease would hit boxers who are always willing to take a shot to their heads so that they can also give a punch every time they fight in the ring.

Boxers back then had to fight for the whole 15 rounds. Imagine this: You have to take strong punches in your head and body for about 45 minutes, and you’ll always have to fight in every week or maybe every month, and boxers back then have a long career that lasts for about 15 to 25 years! Wow!

So it’s not really hard to be a boxer back then? Well if you fight like that right now, maybe you could die early and not see your grandchildren grow and be an adult and that is so depressing if you know what I mean.

One boxer who have experienced it way back then, who also doesn’t care for his health and when to stop his ailing career is Freddie Roach who is also known as "La Cucaracha" (the cockroach) and "The Choir Boy."

Roach spent most of his entire career as a Lightweight journeyman pugilist, and was on the losing end on of most of his high profile bouts.

He lost fights to former champions like super lightweight Bobby Chacon and former lightweights Greg Haugen and Hector Camacho Sr. Roach relied on a resilient fighting style, and tried to outlast rivals in the ring.

Freddie Roach only went 13-12 win-loss state in his late career after he started his career having an impressive 26-1 record. 

Roach definitely got that disease after many years of retirement away from the sport he once loved and participated into.

After what happened last Saturday in Puerto Rico, where Gerry has fought with much valor and bravery against a young and hungry wolf in Juan Manuel Lopez, (the current WBO champion in the super bantamweight division) Freddie Roach stopped the fight before the round 10 was commenced.

Accumulation of 444 punches to the head and body of Peñalosa, Roach didn’t think twice what he should do. He knows that history might repeat itself if Coach Roach didn’t stopped the fight.

Though Gerry has too much bravado in him to continue the fight whatever happens, Roach doesn’t want it to be that way. Roach want it to be stopped already in round 8 but he knows that Gerry was not this type of fighter who surrenders after he tasted the punch of the most fearsome puncher in the 122 pound division.

Although he gave in to Gerry’s request to continue round 9 (after he successively absorbed so many punches to his head and body) he did not want it to be continued after round 10 after seeing Peñalosa can’t do some miracle no more.

Gerry was begging for Roach to still continue his fight for glory and victory but Freddie Roach, who has been there and done this knows that if this bout will still be prolonged, Gerry might suffer that precarious disease that he has acquired, also after he has extended his career that should have been finished if he was just listening to his trainer back then.

Freddie Roach was just doing the right thing. He’s not doing this just because he is the trainer of Gerry Peñalosa, but he is doing this as a caring friend who doesn’t think twice if Gerry will become the champion or not.

What is significantly running on Freddie’s mind at that time is what will happen to Gerry after he had absorbed consecutive power punches in his head.

Gerry could have rewritten the history of boxing if he did continue to fight after round 9, but the right question is what will happen to him in the future if he did survive this vicious onslaught brought to him by the current champion. He could have a killer disease like what Freddie Roach and Muhammad Ali has.

Thank God Freddie did what he is supposed to do in that place at the right time. He stopped the circulation of the bad saying that “history repeats itself.”

In doing this Freddie not only did make himself a better person and a trainer but also as a caring friend or brother or whatever you might call him. Freddie Roach didn’t do his job that night.

What Freddie Roach has done that night is the prevention of an uncertain future that might cause a dreadful disease for one of Philippines legend in boxing called, Gerry “The Fearless” Peñalosa.

One thing though, there is a saying in medicine that Coach Roach has certainly applied in that heart breaking loss, he had positively proven that “prevention is better than cure.”