MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach may add former world welterweight champion Victor Ortiz to his roster of fighters.
Ortiz, who is recovering from a broken jaw sustained during his knockout loss to Josesito Lopez last June, worked with Roach in the Wild Card Gym last January.
“He’s a great talent and a good kid,” Roach told Chris Robinson. “We did two days together, we had a lot of fun. He’s a great kid and I wish him the best.”
Ortiz parted ways with his trainer, Danny Garcia, following his loss to Lopez and Roach said the former champion has not yet made up his mind about who his new mentor will be.
“They just came down here and they wanted to work the mitts with me,” Roach said.
“The thing is right now, he hasn’t made a decision yet. I think I helped him with some of his issues. He was very happy with what I was showing him, and hopefully it will come together,” he added.
It is not the first time Ortiz has worked with Roach. The five-time Trainer of the Year revealed that “Vicious” used to spar with eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
“He used to go to my gym and box with Manny Pacquiao quite a bit, early in his career,” Roach said. “(Those were) some of the best sparring sessions I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Roach is hoping to bounce back after a difficult 2012 that saw his fighters suffer a string of high-profile losses, including Pacquiao’s shocking knockout loss to rival Juan Manuel Marquez in December.
“We do all get older, and things do change in life,” he said. “Like Manny Pacquiao told me, if you don’t think you’ll lose in this sport, then you’re in the wrong sport.”