By Chris Robinson
Entering the MGM Grand’s media center in Las Vegas on Saturday night, trainer Freddie Roach seemed to be a little out of sorts.
Moments earlier, Roach’s start fighter, Manny Pacquiao, had gone twelve hard rounds with Palm Springs, California’s Timothy Bradley. The fight was an interesting one to study and while Bradley’s grit and fortitude were on display, it was the skills of Pacquiao that appeared to carry the day.
Shockingly, two of the three judges sitting ringside, Duane Ford and C.J. Ross, offered up 115-113 verdicts in Bradley’s favor, overruling the 115-113 tally from Jerry Roth, as Pacquiao suffered his first professional defeat over the past fifteen fights and nearly seven years.
Still a bit in disbelief at how everything transpired, all Roach could do was state his case for his charge as he addressed the media.
“I thought we won the fight,” Roach opened up. “I’m very proud of Manny. I thought he fought a very good fight. I thought that was one of the best fights since the [Miguel] Cotto fight. I told him he gave the eleventh round away. Bradley was very tough and very durable. I thought we clearly, clearly won the fight.”
As far as what the three ringside officials must have been watching, Roach seemed at a loss.
“I think they had their eyes closed, I’m not sure,” stated Roach. “Something wasn’t right. Because what everyone else saw and what they saw were two different things.”
Roach was asked if the fact that Pacquiao’s last fight, a majority-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, was a bit controversial may have worked against him and the four-time trainer of the year didn’t rule out such a possibility.
“I didn’t see many close rounds,” Roach pointed out. “I’m not sure if our last fight had something to do with it because our last fight was a very close fight and maybe a little controversial. Did they hold that against us? I’m not sure.”
Shortly after, Pacquiao would enter the building to a warm reception and take his turn fielding questions from the media. In the middle of Pacquiao’s time on the dais, Roach would have to make his exit, as he prepared to catch a flight to Canastota, New York for his induction into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Surely it will be a bittersweet and reflective time for the renowned trainer, who still seems to be trying to digest everything that happened over the weekend in Las Vegas.
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