Ahead of Pacquiao vs. Broner, Freddie Roach suggests that Bellator’s Aaron Pico could make it in the boxing world — and says GSP could have one more fight in him.
Legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach has trained some of the best in the business — in multiple sports. Roach, of course, is working with Manny Pacquiao for next weekend’s fight between the Filipino legend and Adrien Broner. Roach refers to his reunion with Pacquiao as being “back at home,” but while the focus is the upcoming boxing showdown, Roach spoke to Cageside Press about some of his other pupils. Mainly Bellator prodigy Aaron Pico, and UFC legend Georges St. Pierre.
Roach, of course, has worked with both fighters extensively. Exclusively in boxing, of course. “When I train MMA fighters, I don’t really teach them anything but boxing. That’s the only sport I know,” Roach told us. “But Aaron Pico, he was a boxer first, and then a wrestler, then a mixed martial artist. Being a boxer first helps him quite a bit.”
GSP, meanwhile, took a little more work. “Now Georges St. Pierre was a little bit longer [of a] session. When he knocked out his last opponent [GSP knocked Michael Bisping down before submitting him at UFC 217] — it took me six years to teach him how to do that. A little more patience, but he finally got it perfect. And it worked really well.”
Roach clearly enjoys working with both men, even with a lot on his plate. “They’re really good guys, nice people to work with. As long as they have good work ethic and want to work hard, I’ll help anyone I can.”
As for the other aspects of mixed martial arts, Roach playfully added that “I ask them about submission holds and so forth, just in case I get caught in one some day. You never know what life brings. I know a little bit more than I should.”
Pico in particular has shown incredible hands in his Bellator run thus far. On whether the young star could make a go of it in the boxing realm, Roach pointed out that “Aaron Pico is a good enough boxer to be Miguel Cotto’s sparring partner for two of his title fights. I’m not saying just his sparring partner, his number one sparring partner. That’s how good he is in boxing.”
So that being said, yes. He could cross over. “He could have a boxing career if he wanted to, but right now he’s choosing to do [MMA],” said Roach. “When he gets a little tired or bored, he can come over to boxing, and he’ll fit right in.”
On the GSP front, Roach later let slip that “I think Georges might have one more fight, but we don’t know yet.”
St. Pierre has not fought since defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217, winning the UFC’s middleweight championship in the process. St. Pierre later vacated the title while dealing with health issues.