By Mike Coppinger
So far, so good for Frankie Gomez under Freddie Roach.
The ultra-talented welterweight prospect seems to have put his legal troubles behind him and is flourishing in the ring since hooking up with the Hall of Fame trainer at the Wild Card Boxing Club last last year.
Gomez (15-0, 11 KOs) has had distractions in the past, but Roach hopes he can stay on the straight-and-narrow.
"There’s a lot of people who want to hang around you out there and want to be your friend, but you have to stay with the people that were there when you started and be careful about the guys coming on," said Roach. "I hope he can stay away from that. When I started with (Manny) Pacquiao he had no entourage, now he has a huge entourage. I never thought that would happen, but that’s how the boxing game goes, though."
Roach likes what he sees from the 21-year-old so far and is impressed with his physical gifts.
"He's a very good prospect but probably too soon to say (how good)," said Roach. "But he's definitely my best prospect at this point. He wants to fight the best and that's what you have to do to be the best. His punching power is great and he has really, really fast friends. And he delivers a punch correctly and with great balance. I love when a fight ends by knockout -- no judges, no controversy, it's really the best way to end a fight."
Gomez has had two fights with Roach, a knockout of Manuel Leyva and a 10-round decision win over Lanard Lane, but Roach still wants Gomez to improve more.
"My first fight with him ended quickly, it was a first round knockout and I didn't get to see too much of him," said Roach. "In the second fight I was really happy to see him get some rounds in. I think he faded in the middle rounds a little bit and then got his second wind at the end and came on really strong. We need a little help in the conditioning area and a little faster pace."
Roach trains another fighter who has had troubles in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and his problems with his camp for the Sergio Martinez fight are well-documented. Roach is hoping to avoid any similar problems with Gomez.
" I don't think I'm going to have that problem with Frankie, but you never know," said Roach. "Chavez Jr., was great our first four fights; he never said no, he did everything I said. Frankie is very similar, he's a great prospect."
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