By Lem Satterfield
LAS VEGAS --- When Freddie Roach receives his third straight honor and his fifth overall for Trainer of The Year on Friday night from the Boxing Writers' Association of America, eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao is not supposed to be in attendence at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Roach is the trainer of Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts), whom he has told to remain in his hotel room resting up for Saturday night's WBO welterweight title defense opposite five-time champion, Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), that will also take place at the in the same building.
But Roach also knows that the chances that Pacquiao will listen to him are "50-50," this from a fighter who regularly plays in risky basketball games, schedules post-fight performances during which he sings with his own band, and improvises rather than stick to the game plan during fights -- all against Roach's preferance.
"I told Manny no. I told him not to come tomorrow night. It's not hard for me to tell him no because it's the right thing before a big fight," said Roach of Pacquiao, who missed the night that his trainer first received the award in 2003 because he was at home in the Philippines.
"It's just too close to the fight. I think that he will listen to me because this is critical, but I'm kind of 50-50 on that. I am not his boss. I can not tell Manny Pacquiao what to do," said Roach.
"I told him not to play basketball during training. The next day I see him, I say, 'Manny, I thought that we agreed that you were not going to play basketball last night," said Roach. "And he says, 'I just ran the court.' And I said, 'No you didn't, you scored 36 points.' He says, 'Well how do you know?' I said, 'I read it in the newpapers.' So Manny is a grown man, we negotiate, and we work things out that way."