Freddie Roach continues to battle Parkinson's, suicidal thoughts

On May 2, when Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring against Floyd Mayweather, he'll be entering the greatest battle of his life. By then, his trainer, Freddie Roach, will have fully implemented a plan to bring down the undefeated boxer. And if Roach's plan works, both fighter and trainer will have secured their legacies.

On May 2, when he's standing in Pacquiao's corner, just inches away from the brawling, Roach will also be in the middle of another battle -- one that he's been fighting for the last 23 years. For two decades, as he's built his Hall of Fame resume as a trainer, Roach has also been battling Parkinson's disease.

"With Parkinson's, sometimes you wake up and think, 'Why the f--- did they pick me?'" Roach told The Telegraph. "But, you know, that's part of life."

For Roach, one of the most difficult aspects is the medication, which "helps in a bad way." In his interview with The Telegraph, Roach spoke about being in hotel rooms for long periods of time and thinking about committing suicide by jumping out of the hotel room's windows.

"I have a new neurologist and I told him that sometimes I think about killing myself," Roach said. "He asked me why and I said, 'It's just f------ difficult sometimes dealing with this s---.' He said maybe I should see a psychologist. I said, 'Doc, I'm just kidding. I might think about it but I would never hurt myself. I am not that brave.'"

You wonder where Freddie Roach would be if he stopped training.  (Getty Images)
You wonder where Freddie Roach would be if he stopped training. (Getty Images)

Roach's solution is to spend more time in the gym, training his fighters in the comfort of his Los Angeles gym.

"I never have a day off," he said. "My girlfriend's going to leave me. I'm in the gym every day, it's part of life. Instead of taking a vacation, I like what I do. My vacations are right here."

And if given the chance, Roach wouldn't mind spending some time in the gym with Mayweather, who he claims "makes so many mistakes." Still, he was complimentary of Mayweather, saying "he's the best feinter in the world."

On May 2, Roach hopes his plan to overcome Mayweather's talent is enough to push Pacquiao to the top. Regardless of the outcome, after May 2, Roach will probably head back to his vacation home -- Wild Card Boxing Club -- to begin preparing yet another soldier for battle. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories