Since Joe E. Martin Sr. and Muhammad Ali, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach have developed one of the most dynamic trainer and fighter combination. Freddie Roach has trained some of the greatest names in boxing such as Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, and the former pupil he recently defeated, Oscar De La Hoya. Roach will tell you however, that his star pupil would be none other than Manny Pacquiao himself. Manny Pacquiao has even gone as far as calling Freddie Roach, "a gift sent from heaven". Freddie Roach on numerous occasions has reciprocated by saying "Manny Pacquiao is like a son to me."
The relationship between Roach and Manny Pacquiao has developed through the years into an unbreakable trust where each individual need each other in order to win. Manny Pacquiao's victory over Oscar De La Hoya was equally as important to Freddie Roach. After Manny Pacquiao defeated De La Hoya, Roach basked in the celebration with as much elation as Pacquiao. Roach's prized student has just won the most important fight of his career and it was Roach who orchestrated the master strategy that clearly dominated the fight. Roach would later say that, "This is the biggest win in my life" and this is from a trainer who has trained three other great champions. Roach, who has Parkinson Disease prefers to be in his Wild Card Gym as much as possible but recently flew to the Philippines to celebrate Manny Pacquiao's 30th birthday and flew back home to Los Angeles the next day.
Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao have also had their share of disagreements as naturally a father and son would have with one another. In 2004, Roach threatened to quit the Pacquiao team after Roach refused to work with promoter Murad Muhammad any longer. In 2006, Roach vehemently disagreed with Manny Pacquiao when Pacquiao spurned a better promotional deal with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Production to remain in the clutches of Bob Arum's Top Rank promotional company. Bob Arum has not always had the blessing of an honest promoter from the public's point of view, but he has always delivered the big fights that the fans want to see. Manny Pacquiao essentially made the decision based on Arum's ability to put together the fights that will escalate his career and in return Pacquiao has not disappointed the fans with his electrifying fights by dedicating himself first with his training.
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach may disagree about financial opportunities, what food to eat, and what color boxing trunks to wear but the fighter and his trainer are always on the same page when it comes to boxing. Whatever Freddie Roach teaches and says, Manny Pacquiao listens and executes. However hard Freddie Roach requires Manny Pacquiao to train, Manny Pacquiao will always go over the top to impress his teacher. After the fight with De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao said, "Everything Freddie told me would happen, it happened." Manny Pacquiao is currently at the top of his game and Manny Pacquiao himself would say its because he puts all his trust to the trainer that is now like his father.