Freddie Roach will be noticeably absent when Manny Pacquiao makes his return to the ring Saturday to challenge Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title.
Pacquiao split from the Hall of Fame trainer in April, ending a partnership that dated back to 2001. Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao's longtime friend and assistant trainer, has taken over duties from Roach, though Pacquiao is leaving open the possibility of a reunion, according to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times.
"I'm not saying I won't come back to Freddie ... just for this fight, I'm taking a rest. We can work again in the future if he can still train," Pacquiao said. "I'm not mad. That's why you haven't heard from me commenting about Freddie. I'll try to visit him after the fight if I have a chance."
Roach, who also spoke to Pugmire, said he hasn't talked to Pacquiao since his unanimous decision loss to Jeff Horn last July. He then recalled a conversation they had in the locker room after the fight.
"'You know, Manny, being a senator and being a world-champion boxer is very difficult … I know you've always multi-tasked, but you might want to think about doing one before the other," Roach said.
Pacquiao didn't say a word.
"Manny, are you mad at me?" Roach asked.
"He just smiled at me. That was it. And I haven't spoken to Manny Pacquiao since."
Roach, however, doesn't seem to hold any ill will.
"Marriages haven't lasted this long," Roach said. "If Manny asked me to get on a jet and train him for free, I'd be the first one on the plane. We have a lot of history. Manny's my friend. Money ... I have enough."