Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Monday before a press conference in Manhattan that longtime trainer Freddie Roach would return to his corner for his upcoming Jan. 19 fight against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas. However, that does not appear to be the case any longer, as Roach himself expressed bewilderment at the news.
"I still have never directly spoken to Manny (since the 2017 loss to Jeff Horn)," Roach said.
"I'm not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I've been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can't call me, there will be no deal."
Pacquiao reiterated on Tuesday that lifelong friend and associate Buboy Fernandez would continue his role as head trainer, but also added that he hoped Roach would return in a supervisory role.
"I don't have any problem with Freddie Roach," Pacquiao said at a media roundtable. "All I say is that I think the other work in training should be assigned or designated to Buboy.
"Freddie can supervise or instruct Buboy; this is what we're going to do."
Pacquiao also admitted that there has been no communication between himself and his former trainer.
"We have scheduled to talk today," he said. "My idea is to let Buboy handle the mitts, and (Freddie) should just supervise and correct the training situation, or techniques, or anything like that."
Although their partnership had lasted for more than a decade, with Roach helping transform Pacquiao from a one-dimensional left-hander into one of the most explosive boxers in the sport, "Pacman" cannot remember the last time he spoke to Roach, blaming the demands of his senatorial duties in the Philippines for the disconnect.
"It's been a long time ago," Pacquiao said. "A long time ago that I didn't speak to Freddie. I was busy in the Philippines.
"I don't even have time to come to United States for a vacation for relaxation. It's really busy being a Senator."
Pacquiao, who has not fought in the United States for the last two years, is coming off a seventh-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His last bout in the U.S. was in April 2016 against Timothy Bradley in a trilogy fight. Pacquiao dropped Bradley twice en-route to a unanimous decision victory.