MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, denied a Los Angeles Times report that Pacquiao received divorce papers from his wife, Jinkee, prior to his most recent fight last November.
Last week, LA Times’ Lance Pugmire quoted Roach as saying that “All the distractions caught up to Manny in his last fight,” referring to the Filipino boxer’s controversial victory over rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pugmire also quoted Roach as saying that Jinkee served Pacquiao with divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight.
Speaking with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America, both boxer and trainer categorically denied the LA Times report.
“I never said that in my life, but someone wrote it, and someone lied,” Roach told Angeles.
“I said I knew him (Manny) and his wife weren’t getting along before the fight, but I never said that.”
“The thing is, we did have a bad week before the last fight and everything kind of fell apart and a lot of distractions, and he’s got rid of all those distractions and now everything is smooth,” he added.
Pacquiao also denied the divorce rumors and said that his newfound commitment to religion has helped him have a distraction-free training camp.
“Wala naman distractions for this fight. I’m really focused 100%,” the boxer said.
Pacquiao will defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight championship against unbeaten boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9 in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is currently training at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. Report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau