Justin leaves Wildcard, but did he take a "Fortune" of Roach's money with him?

By Brad Cooney


Justin leaves Wildcard, but did he take a "Fortune" of Roach's money with him?

Boxingtalk caught up with famed fight trainer Freddie Roach, and good his thoughts on the passing of 2 division world champion, Diego “Chico” Corrales.  Roach also breaks news informing Boxingtalk that his now former strength and conditioning coach, took the entire pacquiao trainers fee, and the entire Israel Vasquez trainers fee, sending Roach nothing.  To make matters even more interesting, Roach informed Boxingtalk that Fortune tried to sway Philippine brawler, Bobby Pacquiao away from Roach before he quit.

BC – Freddie before we begin, can I have some thoughts on the passing of a great warrior, Diego “Chico” Corrales?

FR – What a tragic loss, Chico was a great boxer, and all action fighter.  This is an unfortunate situation, those motorcycles are dangerous weapons, it's so unfortunate.   No doubt about it, the Castillo vs Corrales fight was an unbelievable comeback, the heart that Chico had was amazing, it's sad to see him go.

BC – Let's talk about Oscar De La Hoya, do you feel the key to his defeat was abandoning his jab against Floyd Mayweather Jr?

FR – Oscar did ok in the fight, for some reason he got away from the jab.  The middle rounds we did well, I would say round 9, 10, and 11 were Mayweather's best rounds, but we came back in the 12th, and I thought that gave us the edge.  One judge gave the 12th round to Mayweather, but I didn't see it that way.  Oscar didn't feel like a loser, and most people that I speak with think Oscar won the fight.

BC – The big question is, do you think there will be a rematch?

FR – I am not sure, Oscar's wife is pregnant, and she doesn't want him to fight again.  I am not sure who will make that decision though (laughs).  From day 1 to the last day, I had great fun with Oscar, I would love to do it again if I am asked to.  Oscar treated me very, very well.

BC – What was the highlight moment for you throughout the entire camp?

FR – Being in the gym with Oscar working one on one with him.  I got to concentrate on one fighter, and came up with a good plan.  Oscar just couldn't see it I guess when he left his jab, if we would have stuck with the plan we would have won the fight.  Oscar is such a gentleman, just being around him and his family was the highlight for me.

BC – Who has more pop when you work the mitts, Oscar or Manny Pacquiao?

FR – Manny has more speed and more pop, but Oscar has more density to his punches because of his larger size.  Manny has the edge in the speed department though.

BC – Bobby Pacquiao has a tough test ahead of him, what are your thoughts on that?

FR – Manny called me and asked me if I would work with Bobby for his next fight, so I got back Monday and been working with him since.  Bobby knows this is a hard fight, and I know we are underdogs, but he looks good and I expect good things.

BC – James Toney makes his return as well, what are your thoughts on that?

FR – James will be here Saturday, Macka has been working with him on the mitts every day.

BC – You said in a previous interview with me that you were concerned with James Toney's last few performances, and that he is getting hit a little too much.  How do you feel about James Toney's career at this point?

FR – The thing is, they tell me his weight is real low right now.  If that's correct, it's a step in the right direction.  When I see James, I will see how he does, and how he looks and make a decision at that point.

BC – Back to Oscar for a second, you have some critics that question your decision to train Oscar and not be with your existing fighters.  Do you still feel that you made the right decision in training Oscar De La Hoya?

FR – It's not a question of right or wrong decision, I wish that I could have been with all of my fighters.  Manny asked me to work his corner, even though Justin didn't think that it was necessary.  Justin decided to quit the day before I got home, gave the keys to one of my assistants, because he didn't want to face me.  I thought he was a stand up guy, he wont even answer my phone calls.  The guy left me a message, told me that he is taking all of the Pacquiao check, and all of the Vasquez check, and he told me that I can go fuck myself.

BC – Let me get this straight, Justin Fortune took the entire Pacquiao check, and Israel Vasquez check and didn't send you anything?

FR – Yes, well good luck to him.  He's making a bad decision, and it will come back on him.  What are you going to do?  You treat someone nice for 7 years, gave him the opportunity to work with great fighters, so let's see what kind of fighters he gets now.

BC – Do you have anyone in mind to take Justin's place?

FR – No, right now I will do this by myself as usual.  If someone comes along that is qualified, and I like their style, I will help them out.  The thing is, everyone wants to branch out on their own sooner or later, but you don't have to steal in order to do that.  That's bad karma and it will come back to haunt him, so we'll just see.  People don't come to my gym to see Justin Fortune.

BC – Let's touch on Manny Pacquiao, do you see him having a future in boxing if he wins his bid for a congress in the Philippines?

FR – If he wins, it will be a little bit difficult for him.  Manny may be biting off more than he can chew, I am sure being a Congressman demands a lot of time, as boxing does.  This is what Manny wants to do, he's his own man.  Justin tried to get Bobby from me as well, and Bobby told him 'no way'.  I heard he wants Manny, and that is laughable, never in a million years will that happen.

BC – Did Justin try to take any of your other fighters?

FR – I am sure he's trying to get Israel Vasquez right now, but I don't see any problems with that.  My fighters respect Justin as a conditioning coach.  When you called him a conditioning coach in our last interview, he got really pissed off at you.  That was the beginning of my beginning to feel that this guy was beginning to get too big for his own good.  He was mad at you for calling him a conditioning coach rather than a trainer.

BC – I was taken aback by that, I wasn't sure what I said wrong.

FR – Justin asked me why you called him a conditioning coach, and I told him, 'because that's what you are, you don't train these guys, these are my fighters.'  This was the beginning of all of the controversy, I was ALWAYS coming to Manny's fight in San Antonio.  Me and you know that Brad, Pacquiao knew that, but Justin kept saying that I wasn't coming, and he kept telling people that I wasn't talking to him.  Money does strange things to people, and no matter how much money I make, I will always be the same asshole, (laughs).

BC – You will be training Bernard Hopkins for his fight against Winky Wright, how do you see that match- up?

FR – Very technical fight, both guys are great fighters.  Two of the great thinkers in the ring, Bernard asked me if I could train him because his coach has been sick with that stroke that he had.  I think it's going to be a great fight, Hopkins calls me the teacher (laughs).  I am looking forward to this one, it's going to be fun,.

BC – B Hop is freak of nature, how much gas to you think this warrior has left in his tank?

FR – He's very smart, he's conservative, and he paces himself very well.  Winky Wright will let you fight at your pace, both guys defensive, a real chess match.  I think we will be too big for Winky, a little bit too strong, and hopefully that will prevail.


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