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Roach assures Pacquiao corner won’t be unruly

It seems as though every time Manny Pacquiao fights, his corner is a confluence of chaos.

Too many voices. Not enough clarity to keep Pacquiao focused on the task at hand. It has been boxing’s Tower of Babel.

Trainer Freddie Roach has had enough. When Pacquiao climbs through the ropes Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden to face Timothy Bradley, one voice will be speaking to the WBO welterweight champion – Roach’s.

Second trainer Buboy Fernandez, cutman Miguel Diaz and strength coach Alex Ariza have been given their marching orders. If they have something to say, say it to Roach during the round and not to Pacquiao between rounds.

"I met with each person individually," Roach said Thursday. "Everyone understands their roles, and everyone will keep quiet. I told them if they talk (to Pacquiao), I’ll throw them out of the corner during the fight. I’ll get security if I have to."

Pacquiao agrees. He doesn’t need a lot of people in his ear between rounds.

"I talked to Freddie and Alex, and everything is good," Pacquiao said. "Freddie’s is the one voice I will listen to between rounds."

Fernandez, Pacquiao’s longtime friend, said he’s fine with it, though sometimes he might need to convey what Roach is saying to Pacquiao by talking to the fighter in Tagalog, their native Filipino dialect.

"Freddie’s the boss," Fernandez said. "I have no problem with it. Whatever is best for Manny."

While Pacquiao’s corner sorts things out for fight night, Bradley has no such issues. Joel Diaz has been calling the shots for years, and his is the voice that Bradley, the WBO junior welterweight champ, will hone in on between rounds.

"We know each other so well," said Diaz, who will have Bradley’s father, Ray, working alongside him. "We don’t ever have those problems. Ray and I have worked together for years. It’s never been a distraction, and it won’t be (Saturday)."

Roach said he didn’t want to lay down the law. But Pacquiao arrived late to the MGM Grand Garden for his last fight, Nov. 12 against Juan Manuel Marquez, because of issues with his wife, Jinkee, and didn’t get to warm up properly. Pacquiao suffered leg cramps during the fight, which he won by majority decision.

"I don’t see that being a problem this time," Roach said. "Manny, his wife and his family are in a good place right now. I’m just trying to make sure we keep the distractions to a minimum."

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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