Is Freddie Roach Single-handedly Saving Boxing?
Last weekend in San Antonio, a star was born when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. destroyed John Duddy in the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The fight was significant for many reasons. Up until this fight, Chavez Jr. had been battling Dale Earnhart Jr. for the most frustrating son of a legend on the sports circuit today.
Like Dale Jr. the young Chavez has too much talent to considered a fraud. On the other hand, his last few fights did not show the kind of effort and heart that made his father so great.
That all changed when he squared off in Texas with the Derry Destroyer.
Duddy was by far the toughest opponent that Chavez Jr. has faced in the ring. It was also the first fight with Freddie Roach in his corner.
Chavez won handily and looked fabulous doing it. Julio let his hands go and used his speed, combinations, and movement to befuddle his opponent.
Suddenly Julio looked like boxing's version of Ken Griffey Jr., a good looking, likable kid who is even better than his famous father.
He also looked like a Freddie Roach fighter.
This will be three-for-three in major reclamation projects for Roach and they couldn't be more different.
In Manny Pacquiao he took a street kid from the Philippines who had won a couple of titles and made him one of the best fighters of all-time. Amir Khan was a former top amateur from England coming off a stunning loss who Freddie has turned into a much better fighter and an even bigger attraction.
Now, Roach has succeed with a Hall-of-Famer's son who had looked lackluster in earlier fights.
Obviously, Roach's fighters improve under his tutelage. The records show that.
What makes Roach so valuable for the boxing business is the way his fighters perform. Boxers from Roach's Wild Card stable don't just fight to win; they fight to entertain.
They do entertain, which is why Pacquiao became such a big draw. It's why Khan and now Chavez, Jr. have promoters licking their chops as they climb boxing's ladder.
Its why Freddie Roach isn't just the best trainer in boxing, but the best trainer for boxing. In a sport that relies on big, entertaining fights to pay its bills.
Freddie's fighters bring the party.
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