Donaire is a great champion, Roach clarifies


Posted at Oct 30 2011 04:16 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2011 12:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach said world bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire is a great fighter and a great champion.

Roach is clarifying earlier statements, which he said was misconstrued by some quarters.

"I never said Donaire was overrated," Roach said in an interview with "I don't know where that came from. Donaire is a friend of mine and I like Donaire a lot. I think he's a great fighter."

The issue stemmed from a previous interview quoting Roach. There, he said that Donaire will not have a chance against Cuban fighter Yuriorkis Gamboa should he move up to the featherweight division, and that Donaire was either lucky or his opponents were dumb, as the Filipino fighter has been using the same left hook to finish fights.

"I have nothing against Donaire. He's a great guy, a great champion and I wish him well," he added.

Roach also commented on Donaire's shut-out victory over Argentine boxer Omar Narvaez.

"I think he fought a guy who had a game plan this time, and the guy knew not to go right in and get hit by the hook," Roach said.