Freddie Roach happy to be back in Manny Pacquiao's corner ahead of Adrien Broner fight

This was once a regular formality since the pair began working together in 2001, when Pacquiao moved to America in pursuit of his world championship quest.

However, in July of last year, for the first time in over a decade and a half, Pacquiao was led out to battle without Roach.

Pacman’s longtime friend and assistant to Roach, Buboy Fernandez corned the Filipino icon – as he knocked out Lucas Matthysse to claim the WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title.

But now, in his first defence of the WBA strap, against Adrien Broner on Saturday, Roach will once again be with the man he has led to titles in a record eight divisions.

Speaking to SunSport, Roach revealed he had not spoken to Pacquiao for over two years, after the Filipino dropped a contenois points loss to Jeff Horn in July 2017.

However, as Pacquiao once again returns to Roach’s Wildcard Boxing Club in California, the Hall of Fame trainer revealed the relationship he has with the man he once deemed the son he never had, is back to its purest state.

Roach said: “It’s great to have him back, and everything is back to normal and we’re getting along really well.

“We hadn’t spoken after the Horn fight for two years. He hadn’t been in America and I hadn’t been to the Philippines.

“We had a one meeting, worked everything out and everything is back to normal.

“Nothing has changed, he’s still really respectful and he’s always smiles when he sees me, and looks over for my approval all the time.”

On Saturday Pacman will find himself in familiar territory – in a world title fight facing a counter puncher.

The 40-year-old has faced counter punchers such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosely and most recently Floyd Mayweather.

Broner, a four-weight world champion, has often been linked to Mayweather due to his brashness and arrogance, along with a familiar shoulder roll and counter punch style.

Though Roach believes Broner’s urge to copy Mayweather will be his downfall – as he revealed in depth the tactics that he believes will earn Pacquiao his 61st career win.

Roach said: “He tries to be like Mayweather a little, but maybe he’s just not quite as good at it.

“He does certain moves and he has bad habits that he does over, and over and I think that’s key to the fight – exploiting these habits.

“He leans back and I think we can get him off balance a lot, and I told Manny he has to be a little bit more offensive in this fight, because he’s more of a counter puncher.

“I think this works out as a good fight for us, Broner is a pretty good counter puncher and he does have a little bit of power in the right hand – but we’ll take care of that with some head movement.”

After Pacquiao was defeated by Horn in 2017, many questioned how much the boxing icon had left to give.

But his knockout of Matthysse the very next fight, goes to show how much one performance can alter a perception.

Whether Pacquiao had a bad night against Horn or a throwback against Matthyse, Roach is adamant his pupil still has far more to give to the sport, even after turning 40 last month.

Roach added: “I know I can’t look past this fight, but I do look forward to working with Manny again, and I don’t think this is the last one.

“His work ethic and his training ability at 40 in unbelievable, they’re his strengths and it’s been like that ever since he came to the gym.

“I’m still having trouble slowing him down, he wants to run and train all the time.

"I have to say to him, ‘Manny, you’re already in unbelievable shape, take it easy will ya’.

“His biggest issue is sometimes he wants to overdue it, I have to remind him we’re so close to the fight.

“I do think he will continue, he peaked very well on Saturday, his sparring partners are very tired and beat up a little bit and Manny had a real good training camp.”

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