LAS VEGAS – Even the enemy is a certified Manny Pacquiao fan.
Trainer Freddie Roach on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) let out a little secret on how the great Ignacio `Nacho’ Beristain, the life-long trainer of Juan Manuel Marquez, sought out Pacquiao’s autograph just before their title fight last year.
The unusual experience happened during Pacquiao’s third meeting against Marquez in November of 2011 when Beristain personally sought out Roach just minutes before the bout.
“He came to my dressing room and asked me if Manny can sign these stuff,” said Roach, whose audience laughed along with him as he recounted the story.
The fan-friendly boxing star that he was, Pacquiao willingly obliged, and the thought that any moment he’ll be trading bombs with Beristain’s most celebrated fighter hardly crossed his mind.
“Manny signed like 10 pieces in the dressing room just before the fight,” recalled the 52-year-old trainer. “He signed all 10 and I gave it back to him (Beristain).”
Someone asked Roach why he kept on laughing, to which he replied, “Yes, because this has never happened before."
But the five-time Trainer of the Year stressed he’s not out to mock Nacho. Rather, he recounted the experience to show that there was no bickering between him and Beristain, 68, as what others had insinuated.
“We’re friends,” said Roach.
So he won’t be surprised if the same thing happens on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time).