Freddie Roach was named this year’s Sports Illustrated (SI) Trainer of the Year, after leading several boxers led by Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, Siberian Ruslan Provodnikov and eight weight world division title holder Manny Pacquiao back into stardom.
Roach, 53, had put back the light middleweight Cotto (38-4 with slate 31 knockouts) into his competitive form after guiding him into a third round knockout win against Delvin Rodriguez last October despite absorbing losses from Austin Trout and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The four-time trainer of the year of Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) also developed Provodnikov (23-2 record with 16 knockouts)into a competitive light welterweight champion after winning over Mike Alvarado via 10th round technical knockout last October.
He was also instrumental in the rebuilding of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2 card with 38 knockouts), who came from a frustrating sixth round knockout loss against Mexican archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
Roach guided Pacquiao in his ring come back after whipping Mexican-American brash Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios via majority decision win last November in Macau, China. Pacquiao is looking forward to another fight this April 2014 in Las Vegas against a still undetermined foe.
Known as a great motivator, tactician and aggressive coaching style, Roach knows how to handle all his fighters together with Filipino assistant Marvin Somodio. All his fighters are undergoing intensive training at his own Wild Card gym in Los Angeles USA.
SI chose the bout between Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov as the Fight of the Year. Bradley survived Ruslan’s knockout punches twice to escape with a unanimous win.
Adonis Stevenson was chosen the Fighter of the Year after beating Darnel Boone and Chad Dawson this year in a light heavyweight bout.
Other awardees were Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotion (Promoter of the Year); Jhonny Gonzales (Upset of the Year); and Lucas Matthysse (Knockout of the year).
JOSEF T. RAMOS