By Miguel Rivera
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who headed the corner of Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) for over a decade, will not allow his boxer to extend his career beyond a rematch with Jeff Horn.
Earlier this month, Horn won a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Pacquiao to capture the WBO welterweight title. The scores were 117-111, 115-113, 115-113.
Many observers felt Pacquiao had done enough to win the contest, which took place in the challenger's backyard with 51,000 fans at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Pacquiao had Horn in a lot of trouble in the ninth round and referee Mark Nelson even warned of stopping the fight, but Pacquiao was unable to finish him off inside the distance.
Horn was able to recover and then rallied against the 38-year-old veteran, who wasn't showing the same reflexes, workrate and fighting spirit.
"That happens when you go to the opponent's house and you are facing 51,000 people. We had two judges from the United States as well as the referee, who did not point out Horn's fouls. Also, my fighter was headlocked like 30 times and nothing happened. Something is not right," Roach told Carlos Gonzalez.
"It's a shame that Manny lost that fight even though the whole world saw that he won. I told him that he had [Horn] in the ninth round, and he should have finished the fight. He tried, but he just couldn't do it. It's part of the sport."
Roach believes Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, is now looking to turn Horn into a star. Top Rank has a few options on Australian fighter.
Roach does not expect Horn to go any further, to being a star, beyond his next fight. Pacquiao has a rematch clause, but has yet to exercise it.
"[Horn] fought dirty, he had a plan and it worked out well. Now Bob Arum wants to make him a star, but it will not happen beyond the next fight. We have the rematch. I'll accept [the scenario of] Manny fighting Horn once more because he wants the fight, but the end is near. If the fight is indeed done, it will be the last one so [Pacquiao] can dedicate himself to being a better politician," emphasized Roach.