The HBO series is what appears to be a candid slice of Freddie’s whirlwind on the go lifestyle. The life of a hugely successful trainer and gym owner, Freddie Roach has neared the pinnacle of the boxing world with numerous champions, but none more than 8 time world champion, Manny Pacquiao.
Roach is so revered in the Philippines, homeland of Pacquiao, that he has achieved celebrity status. Cadres of young women flock around him and men want to meet him, congratulate him, or get his autograph. He is without a doubt, a star. Roach is the third most famous celebrity in the Philippines, only behind Pacquiao and the Country’s leader. He is a boxing legend, but at what cost?
The series reveals bits and pieces of the man and his decisions. If you read between the lines and listen to Roach’s slurred and broken speech, you hear some regret, fear, loss, sadness, and even a touch of anger.
Boxing has given him success in the sport, but, again, at what cost? Roach’s current and ex-girlfriends make appearances on the show, leaving the viewer wondering how many relationships has boxing cost this man?
Freddie Roach is a true inspiration and an American success story. He fought his way out of poverty and the projects. His toughness and enduring focus on a goal propelled him to being the best ever.
Even with Parkinson’s Disease, at 52, to see Roach training in the ring, he functions incredibly well and speaks clearer inside the ring than he does outside. When someone with Parkinson’s is doing what they love and what they excel at, it is easy for them to fall into a zone where he or she almost forgets about their symptoms. I see this in Freddie. His laser-like focus and commitment to his task at hand overcomes the illness while doing his job and what he loves.
On Freddie Roach is a raw and insightful look into Freddie’s taxing schedule, grueling physical expectations, and the toll that it may be taking on both his body and mind. Roach shows true courage by sharing his life and challenges with Parkinson’s. He pulls back the curtain and sheds light on what Parkinson’s is and what it does. For this, I thank and applaud both Roach and HBO for this important exposure. Bravo!