Freddie Roach was once the trainer for Jorge Linares, the current WBA lightweight champion who defends his title tomorrow night against Mercito Gesta. But Roach will be in the challenger’s corner tomorrow night, and Roach has a feeling that Gesta can pull off what some in the boxing community doubt – that he can defeat Linares.
In a recent interview, Roach opened up about his experiences cornering Linares. Roach explained that when the pressure is pressed on Linares, Linares will crumble and quit.
“I’ve seen that in the corner before. When he bleeds, he doesn’t like blood and so forth, but the thing is I can’t have my fighter go in there with elbows and headbutts,” Roach said. “But the thing is [Gesta] will go in there a little more aggressive than you’ve seen him in the past and we’re gonna take the fight to him, and I think that’s the best way to beat him.”
Linares and his current trainer, Ismael Salas, have mentioned that Linares struggled while under Roach, but Roach claims Linares losses were due to his own actions and loss of focus, specifically mentioning one incident where Linares had his girlfriend in the dressing room — which Roach did not want — and claiming that Linares quit the fight that night all because of a little blood.
“[The reason for splitting with Linares] was that incident, basically, and his lack of work ethic. I mean, he’s a lazy fighter. I mean, the first time he fought Pacquiao he was great. The second time he came a couple years later, Pacquiao knocked him out. I mean, he’s just, I don’t think he’s that great anymore. I think he was great at one time, early in his career, but that’s as far as I’ll go.”
You can watch the full interview with Roach in the video player above.