Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boxing [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Roach unsure about status with Chavez

By Rodrigo Azurmendi
Special to ESPNDeportes.com


LOS ANGELES -- Apparently the breakdown in the working relationship between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Freddie Roach has been a one-sided issue. Roach recently spoke to ESPNDeportes.com about the subject, providing further explanation about the lack of communication between the trainer and his former pupil.

"He called me and asked if I wanted to work with him, and I said, 'I would love to do that,'" Roach said. "But after that, I never heard from him again."

Roach, who is currently working with two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming for his July 27 fight in Macau, said that he wasn't totally sure about his current status with Chavez. He did, however, all but rule out the possibility of working with the 27-year-old former middleweight titlist for his comeback fight against Brian Vera on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles.

"Sometimes I read the reports on the Internet about us being cool, and others that say that I'm out," Roach said. "I really have no idea about what's going on; he is not being consistent. I wish him the best because he is a great kid. I don't think that I will train him for the Vera fight, because it's such short notice and Julio is not here."

Despite their differences, Roach said he's open to a reunion with Chavez. "I would work with him again, sure," Roach said. "Our first four fights together were really good -- he never said no, he worked really hard and looked outstanding. However, suddenly, he wanted to change everything and be the man in charge, and he fought horribly."

Roach, a 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and five-time trainer of the year, offered a succinct take on Chavez's performance in his most recent fight, last September's decision loss to Argentina's Sergio Martinez.

"He almost won by knockout in the end, but it would have been pure luck," Roach said. "You really don't want to fight based on luck; Julio could have easily won that fight if he had trained properly."

Roach also made sure to set the record straight about who would be in charge if he and Chavez work together again.

"If that happens," Roach said, "the very first day he is a no-show, I will go home."