Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday that veteran trainer Freddie Roach never left his orbit, despite a public split, and was helping the Filipino boxing legend get ready for his upcoming bout in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao was training in Manila ahead of the January 19 showdown against Adrien Broner, a fight that may be a prelude to a long-speculated on rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
The Roach-Pacquiao reunion comes after the men abruptly parted ways, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts, following the Filipino’s defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017.
Roach was reported to have been upset by his dismissal, but agreed to return after late-night talks with the fighter last week.
“I tell people even in America that Freddie never left Team Pacquiao,” Pacquiao, 39, told reporters after hitting the mitts. “He is still involved in the training.”
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, got a boost to his storied, but slowing boxing career, after stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July in Kuala Lumpur.
Just over six months later he will be back in the ring, this time against Broner, a 29-year-old American, for his first US fight since 2016.
“I am already excited. (After) more than two years I am coming back to Vegas to fight,” said Pacquiao.
Speculation remains high that the Broner bout could be a warm-up for a sequel to 2015’s “Fight of the Century”, that Pacquiao lost to Mayweather on points.
Undefeated Mayweather said in September he was ready to fight Pacquiao, but no definite plans have emerged since.
Last week the Filipino champ told reporters he and Mayweather have talked about fighting again, but said he would see after the Broner match.
Pacquiao did not address the speculation on Tuesday, saying only about any future matches: “I can fight anybody. We are not picky when it comes to our opponents.”