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Pacquiao: Hold it!

Boxing icon says no decision yet on Roach’s status

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By NICK GIONGCO

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has yet to be given his walking papers, eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao said yesterday in his social media account.

Pacquiao, who challenges for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown of Argentine Lucas Matthysse on July 15 in Malaysia, said a decision on Roach’s fate will be made this week.

“I have not made my final decision on who will be the head trainer for my July 14 (July 15 in Kuala Lumpur) fight with Matthysse,” said Pacquiao, who denied statements made by his Canadian adviser Mike Koncz that longtime friend and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez has been elevated to the role of chief cornerman.

Koncz said comments made by Roach following Pacquiao’s stunning loss to Jeff Horn last year in Brisbane, Australia, contributed to the Filipino star’s decision to let go of the 58-year-old Roach.

Pacquiao and Roach joined hands in mid-2001 when the then unknown General Santos City puncher wandered into the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Since then, Pacquiao and Roach have partnered and scored many unforgettable wins, notably against Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao said that Koncz is now in contact with Roach’s camp.

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