Pacquiao: 'No decision' on trainer after reports Roach ditched

This file photo shows Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao (R) sharing a light moment with his US trainer Freddie Roach (L) after a training session at a gym in Manila. Manny Pacquiao said on April 16, 2018 he had not yet chosen a trainer for his July world title fight with Lucas Matthysse, dismissing reports he has cut ties with long-standing mentor Freddie Roach. — AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao said Monday he had not yet chosen a trainer for his July world title fight with Lucas Matthysse, dismissing reports he has cut ties with long-standing mentor Freddie Roach.

The veteran US ring guru Roach said last week that his 15-year association with Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had been terminated ahead of the Matthysse bout in Malaysia.

"I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't hurt that he didn't contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that," Roach said in a brief statement on Friday.

But Pacquiao went on social media Monday to say that he would make a decision later this week on his corner team for the Kuala Lumpur fight with the Argentine World Boxing Association welterweight champion.

"Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media, I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14 (US time zone) fight with Matthysse," he said.

Pacquiao — who has a record of 59 wins with 38 KOs, seven losses and two draws — told millions of followers on his official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts that his adviser Mike Koncz "has been in contact with Freddie (Roach)'s people to keep them informed.

"I will make a final decision within the week. When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media," the 39-year-old added.

Roach was ever-present in Pacquiao's corner during his rise to the pinnacle of his sport, helping mold the fighter into one of the best boxers in history.

Pacquiao has not fought since being defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.

Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 KOs against four defeats, won the vacant WBA belt after beating Thailand's Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

Rosales beats Higa to

claim WBC flyweight belt


Cristofer Rosales of Nicaragua on Sunday secured the WBC flyweight belt by beating Japan's Daigo Higa, who the previous day had given up his title for failing to make the weight, in Tokyo.

Rosales began his aggressive assault early on, showering the former champion with a barrage of uppercuts followed by body blows, and Higa noticeably slowed down from the sixth round.

Rosales opened the ninth round by firing a succession of heavy left body blows, while Higa's punches only connected with the air.

The Japanese side asked for the bout to be stopped one minute and 14 seconds into the ninth round. The defeat was an extra shock for Higa, who the previous day became the first Japanese champion to be stripped of a title because of a weight issue.

The 22-year-old, who had 15 straight knockout victories, weighed in at 51.7 kilograms (114 pounds) on the eve of the bout, exceeding the flyweight limit by 900 grams (32 ounces).

However the WBC and both sides agreed to go ahead with Sunday's bout on condition that Rosales would take the belt with a win, with the title to be vacated in the case of a draw or a Higa victory, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

Higa burst onto the Boxing scene in 2014 when he knocked out Thailand's Saengkeng Saknarong in less than a minute. He clinched the vacant WBC flyweight world championship in May. In February he defeated Mexico's Moises Fuentes in his second title defense, his 15th consecutive victory by knockout. — AFP