By Rick Reeno
Las Vegas - Last weekend in Malaysia, Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) resumed his career with a seventh round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse to capture the WBA "regular" welterweight title.
It was Pacquiao's first knockout win since November of 2009. He dropped Matthysse three times in the contest.
A few months prior to this fight, Pacquiao parted ways with his head trainer of 16 years, Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao promoted his best friend and assistant trainer, Buboy Fernandez, to the head trainer position.
Roach watched the fight, and he took issue with certain statements that was made during the live broadcast by one of the ESPN announcers, who claimed the Hall of Fame trainer 'was not watching the fight.'
"I watched it. The announcer said why would I be watching Manny. I was with Manny for 16 years, I'm a fan. He fought a very good fight. I was proud of him. He did very well. Him and Buboy pulled it off. It was a nice performance," Roach told BoxingScene.com.
"Again, Manny has been my guy for 16 years. It's a shame that it happened this way, but I have nothing against him. People say that he never said anything about my mother dying, but I'm not a religious person. Manny knows I'm not a religious person. It doesn't bother me that he didn't call me [when my mother died]."
After his knockout of Matthysse, Pacquiao mentioned the possibility of reuniting with Roach in the future - but at the moment there has been no contact from Pacquiao since the controversial loss to Jeff Horn in July 2017.
"There has been no contact whatsoever. That's the unusual thing. I got an 'I'm sorry' through the guy at the LA Times, but nothing through Manny. I've tried to call him a few times," Roach said.
Overall, Roach gave Pacquiao some high marks for pulling off an impressive performance that resembled the 'Pac Man' of old..
"Matthysse looked a little worn in a couple of his other fights, but then he looked good in that one fight and got the fight with Pacquiao. Manny looked really good. His speed was good, his footwork was good. His speed was never lost. I never said to him that he should retire. I said that he should pick one, being a Senator or a fighter, because being both is very difficult. He fought well and they pulled it off," Roach said.
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum is planning to speak with Pacquiao about two potential fight options - WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko or WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
If Roach was still at Pacquiao's side, he would advise him to fight Lomachenko - but not at the lightweight limit of 135. He believes Pacquiao should only take that fight at 140 pounds.
As far as Crawford goes, Roach never liked that fight in the past and he likes it even less with Pacquiao being 39-years-old.
"I would go with Lomachenko. They would have to go to 140 at least. I don't think they can make that fight without 140 or a catch-weight. I don't like the Crawford fight. Stylistically [Crawford] might be too much for him," Roach said.