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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Manny Pacquiao yet to make 'final decision' on trainer after reports of split from Freddie Roach

Filipino fighter has worked with the American trainer for 15 years

Manny Pacquiao, right, and Freddie Roach, left, have worked together for 15 years. John Locher / AP Photo
Manny Pacquiao, right, and Freddie Roach, left, have worked together for 15 years. John Locher / AP Photo

Manny Pacquiao has said he has not made a final decision on who will be his trainer for his upcoming world title fight against Lucas Matthysse following reports he had left Freddie Roach.

Filipino boxer Pacquiao, an eight-weight division world champion, has worked with Roach for the past 15 years of his career. However, the American trainer released a statement claiming their association has ended.

"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 on Friday.

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

While Pacquiao has said he will soon decide on his trainer, the fact he has not committed to continuing with Roach is a strong indication that he is, at the very least, considering a change.

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

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

Pacquiao, 39, has not fought since being defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino his WBO 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.