Providence based trainer Peter Manfredo Sr. has a lot of respect for another New England native in the world of boxing: Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach.
“Freddie’s one of the best boxing minds out there”, Manfredo Sr. said to me months ago.
He got the opportunity to spend some time with Roach at his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA in 2005 when his son, Peter Manfredo Jr, was working with Roach preparing for a rematch with Sergio Mora (which he lost controversially) and a regional showdown with former title challenger Scott Pemberton (which Manfredo Jr. dominated en route to a 3rd round TKO).
Now is 2010, Manfredo Sr. says he’d love to spend some more time there. Recently while conducting an interview for www.8countnews.com, Manfredo Sr. was telling me about Toka Khan-Cleary, an amateur standout who trains at his gym and had the following to say.
“I think I have one of the best amateurs in the country”, he said of Khan-Cleary, who was a national golden gloves finalist at 16 years of age.
“I would really like to take him out to the west coast to the Wild Card because that’s the top gym and let my friend Freddie Roach take a look at him cause he’s the master and he’ll tell me exactly what to do and I’ll learn more there but I haven’t had the opportunity right now.”
Roach, a Dedham native, may not spend as much time in his home regional of New England as he used to. However, respect amongst his peers in the region has not wavered.