In an effort to give himself the best possible chance of beating Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury hired legendary trainer Freddie Roach to help him with his preparations ahead of his WBC heavyweight title fight.
Roach - famous for his working relationship with various high-profile boxers including Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Oscar De La Hoya - accepted the invitation from Fury, who had been spending time at the Wild Card Gym.
Some boxing fans wondered where this left Ben Davison, Fury’s inexperienced but talented 26-year-old trainer.
Davison issued a firm response to reporters, informing them that he was very much still the man in charge.
“Don’t look into it (Roach addition) too much. I’m in charge,” he was quoted as saying by World Boxing News. “I’m Tyson’s trainer and what I say goes. But what better second could you get than Freddie? Simple as that.”
Davison and Roach combined to help Fury secure a hard-fought draw against Wilder at the Staples Center on December 1 - a result that many people felt was unfair on the Brit.
Fury dominated many of the 12 rounds but, importantly in the eyes of the judges, was also knocked down twice.
A week-and-a-half later, though, and Roach has come out with some rather eyebrow-raising comments about Davison.
The 58-year-old, speaking on Fox Sports' weekday sports show ‘Fair Game’, can’t understand why Davison was overly negative with his tactics.
He believes Fury would have won the fight had he been encouraged to finish Wilder off with a knockout.
“I’m more of an offensive coach, I’m very aggressive, and I was a little bit disappointed with the corner work because Ben was telling him to feint, feint and step back and I said to him ‘why are you telling him to step back? Let this guy fight. He can get rid of this guy’,” Roach said.
“We haven’t spoken about it yet but we’re going to have a meeting. I think he was very safe.
“[He said] ‘don’t take chances’. I said ‘wait a minute… don’t take chances? You’re in the boxing ring. You took a chance when you signed the contract for the fight.’
Asked if he felt Fury could have knocked Wilder out had Davison given the green light, Roach continued: “Yes, I do [had he been more offensive]. He hurt him a couple of times and I was disappointed he didn’t get a chance to finish him.
“It’s funny, Ben gave the exact same instruction to the 126 lbs fighter as he did the heavyweight fighter, so I said ‘wait… why are you treating these people the same?’ These fighters know each other, but they’re not the same. His instructions were the same and choreographed for both guys, so I was a little disappointed.
“He did a great job with the conditioning, the weight loss and all that, and he’s only a 26-year-old kid.”
Asked if he would be the one to speak to Fury if a rematch happens in 2019, Roach added: “Possibly. Me, Tyson and his brothers spoke about it and said ‘let’s all go home and enjoy Christmas, we’ll have a meeting in the UK or America with each other’, and we left it at that.”
Hmm. Things could be a little awkward when they see each other next after Roach’s surprisingly honest comments.
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if this is now the end of their working relationship.News Now - Sport News