Living it up
Ring Magazine's P4P best fighter in the world Manny Pacquiao is living it up in the Philippines after crushing Ricky Hatton in mere two rounds of their bout last May, appearing on televisions left and right, putting finishing touches on his upcoming movie "Wapakman" where he will be featured as a superhero opposite Dave Batista and taping for his every Sunday sitcom "Show Me Da Manny" where he co-stars with the country's hottest female young actress.
Pacquiao had always been a patron of the visual arts in the Philippines, preferably starring on them as if he doesn't have a worldwide following yet outside of his country.
On the other side of the planet, P4P best trainer coach Freddie Roach is lamenting on the loss of his younger brother Joey (RIP) who passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Surprisingly enough, coach Roach is more vocal about his disappointment on Pacquiao's idleness rather than on the loss of his brother. Not that Roach is unaffected by the untimely death, I guess Roach is concerned more about the living than the dead. Life goes on and it's all business as usual, as soon as the last respects have been issued.
Notably, P4P No. 8 and Pacquiao opponent come November 14 Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto is well ahead in the schedule, having kick started his training a month ago and is about to enter his second phase in preparation for what he promises as a "war" with Pacquiao.
Freddie and Manny
No Boxing Trainer-Trainee relationship had been highlighted each time than that of Roach and Pacquiao. The story had been told in more ways than one.
"More like a friend, a father, than just a trainer" has always been how Pacquiao regarded Roach. "Like a son he never had" has always been Roach's description of his prized student. Were they ever sincere with what they're saying, or just part of the fight hype?
In an interview with another boxing website, Roach openly expressed quite a frustration for Pacquiao not having talked with him for 2 months now. Not even a mere offer of condolences at Roach's loss.
And it's quite clear already with as to who's sincere between the two, or who plays the part perfectly well.
We've read articles about Roach looking after Pacquiao, from his participation in Pacquiao's case against his promoter - Murad Muhamad to keeping his personal life on track, as well as serving professional advices.
We've read articles with Roach catching some mud for comments branding him as Pacquiao's protector in terms of who he's going to fight, and what the fight's terms and conditions must be.
Roach has always been there for Pacquiao. Is there reciprocity on their much talked-about relationship? Latest circumstances tell differently.
"Freddie Roach, he's just a trainer" - Michael Koncz
Roach had been vocal about his preference of having Pacquiao train somewhere else other than in his own country for reasons regarding training focus. Pacquiao is famous for having a very warm and accommodating personality, that he will surely take time to sign autographs, pose for pictures and grant interviews even in the midst of a session.
Roach is expressing genuine concerns and in return, he only gets to talk only with Pacquiao "advisers" like Atty. Jeng Gacal and Koncz.
Adding salt to injury, the supposed "advisers" issue media statements such as that above.
If Roach is playing his role right, that is being more than just a trainer but a "father" or a "friend" in the words of Pacquiao himself, then this surely is not the right way of treating the man in return. There is no respect accorded here.
The degrading statement may not come from Pacquiao himself, but allowing your mere employee to insult your "father" or your "friend" like that is unforgivable,
Filipinos have very high moral standards passed on from generation to generation. It is gravely ungrateful for a person not to accord due respect to the person who has done much for him. Thus, allowing your sub-ordinate to insult the person you owe respects to is immoral.
Pacquiao had gone from poor skinny kid to tremendously rich in a span of a mere decade. He had gone from nobody to one of 2008's most influential people. From being a local favorite fighter, he'd gone global.
Pacquiao never did all that, alone.
I just hope he glances back once in a while to where he's been. He's a Filipino, I hope he represents well.
"Birds of the same feather, flock together"