Freddie Roach's wish on 56th birthday: A win for Manny Pacquiao in farewell fight
Freddie Roach celebrated his 56tth birthday on Saturday. Jerome Ascano

JUST like any of his previous birthdays, Freddie Roach spent his special day working in the gym.

The five-time Trainer of the Year watched and supervised as Manny Pacquiao sparred for seven rounds against Ghislain Maduma and Lydell Rhodes on Saturday when he turned 56.

It was the second time in three years Roach celebrated his birthday in the country while in training camp in General Santos City to prepare Pacquiao for a fight.  

Ever so generous, Pacquiao, 37, surprised the man he considered as his second father with a birthday cake shortly after sparring.

A pair of red boxing gloves where the names ‘FREDDIE ROACH’ were engraved, adorned the special cake Pacquiao himself presented to Roach, who didn’t expect the simple gift.

He later expressed his gratitude to the Filipino boxing idol through his Twitter account @FreddieRoach.

“Thank you @MannyPacquiao for the cake and to everyone for the “happy birthdays” today #happybirthday #wildcardboxing #freddieroach #cake #march5th.

A birthday party for Roach followed thereafter at a nearby restaurant.

Roach need not mention what his birthday wish was as everybody present already knows the obvious – a Pacquiao victory in his farewell fight on April 9 (April 10 Manila time) against American Tim Bradley.

Pacquiao’s entourage is set to leave for the US on March 12 to resume the final phase of training camp at the Wildcard gym in Los Angeles.  

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos