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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


GRAPEVINE, TEXAS—He's been living in Hollywood for a long time but there is still a lot of the Boston street kid left in 50 year old Coach Freddie Roach.

You will never see Roach blowing air kisses and engaging in phony compliments to people he doesn't care for.

With that in my mind, here's my press conference tip for Joshua Clottey trainer Lenny “The Locksmith” DeJesus.

Lenny, if you extend a hand to wish Roach good luck, keep your other hand tucked in close to your chin because Roach made it clear to me Tuesday afternoon before Manny Pacquiao's public workout at the lush and plush Gaylord Texan Hotel that he has little use for you.

In other words, the excitable Roach might clip you if you extend both paws.

“I don't like the guy, I really don't,” Roach said. “He called me a gashole when I fired him as Mannyls cutman. Lenny got the job through (promoter) Murad Muhammad so, when we got rid of Murad, it was time to get rid of Lenny also.

“To me, it was nothing personal but to him, I guess it was. He made nasty comments about me. So I don't like this guy.”

Top Rank Photo/Chris Farina)

DeJesus, an intense but affable sort who owns a locksmith shop in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, was Pacman's cutman for six bouts.

DeJesus was not terminated for any malfeasance or miafeasance, he just got caught on the ropes when the Pinoy Idol jettisoned Muhammad amidst some legal wranglings which included allegations of financial improprieties committed by the promoter.

I kid a bit about Roach's Irish temper but he's not far removed from the hardscrabble teenager from Dedham who turned pro in Portland, Me., for a measly $90.

Now he's a multimillionaire just like his incredibly rich protege, Megamanny.

But, when you scratch the somewhat polished surface, Roach remains the rough and ready scrapper who had a decent if not magnificent pro career.

Coach Roach revealed that acting great Robert Duvall, a two time visitor to the Wild Card Gym, will be in for the title bout at Jerry Jones fancy, new football playpen in nearby Arlington.

“He is a nice guy,” Roach said. “He said, I'd like to see what you could have done if you trained Joe Louis, he was very nice to me to say that. But I told him, 'I don't know, Joe Louis was a pretty good fighter.”

They had a 50th birthday tribute to Manny's mentor at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, Ca., on Sunday afternoon.

I asked Roach he fares at the track, the (betting) windows wash the people.

“I lost $400 but I had some fun,” Roach said. “I got an inside tip from a female jockey who is a friend of mine. That one came in but my other bets were losers.”

Roach feels he and Pacman will have the winning hand Saturday night.

He and Manny think that the Ghanaian believes Pacman will be headhunting and will surprise him with a persistent, devastating body attack.

Roach said he appreciates all the tributes he gets as a trainer but allowed "that it is Manny who makes me look good."

Author: Michael Marley

Source: examiner.com

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