BOXING Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has made a switch to UFC and will corner his first match for Georges St-Pierre’s return fight.
The Canadian will have Roach on his side when he faces Michael Bisping on November 4 for the UFC middleweight title at New York’s Maddison Square Garden.
The legendary boxing coach is the enduring trainer of Manny Pacquiao helping the Filipino to stardom over the past 15 years as well as the likes of Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
He told ESPN: “This might be a little different to boxing, but it is combat sports and I know how to fight.
“I used to be a wrestler in high school. I was never a great wrestler but I have an idea on it and watching it during camp has given me a better idea.”
Roach has been flying between Los Angeles and Montreal weekly to be involved in the former welterweight champions preparations.
While the 57-year-old admits it is a demanding schedule – with several active boxers still under his wing also – he explains he has a promise from GSP to see through.
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Roach said: “I’ve never been an elite MMA trainer, but Georges made me a promise I would work his corner and I am holding up to that.
Come fight night when he finds himself in St-Pierre’s corner, Roach says he is prepared to give more than boxing advice and insists he won’t make the same mistakes as the people around Ronda Rousey when she was told to box in her fight against Amanda Nunes.
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“Everyone in the corner is real friendly with one another and I will give the best information I can in there on fight night, and it won’t be strictly boxing.”
Roach added: “Believe me, we’re not going to be like Ronda Rousey, where someone told her she was a good boxer when she was winning every fight of her life on the ground.
“I’m not going to lie to my fighter. We’ve been working on everything and will take advantage of everything.”
St-Pierre will return next week after a four-year absence, but has been coy on his plans beyond that.
He stated that contractually he must defend his UFC middleweight title if he defeats Bisping, if he loses he also commented he will walk away.
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