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Feature Story

More on Sturm and Roach

US trainer will come to Germany
Team Sturm

Team Sturm

By Wolfgang Schiffbauer

As FightNews reported last week, WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm will be working with world-class trainer Freddie Roach for his upcoming bouts. After splitting with Universum Box-Promotion and longtime coach Michael Timm, Sturm wants to improve his game by hiring Roach, who turned Manny Pacquiao into the world’s best fighter. “We tried to save our working relationship with Michael Timm,” Sturm said. “But after certain things have been said, it was just not possible anymore. Besides, he is committed to Universum. After Michael was out of the picture, Freddie was my one and only choice.”

Roach trained more than 25 world champions. Big names like Virgil Hill, James Toney, Mike Tyson or Oscar De La Hoya in his fight against Floyd Mayweather. He is currently working with British superstar Amir Khan and – of course – Pacquiao. While preparing Khan for his first round destruction of Dmitriy Salita last Saturday, Sturm flew over to Manchester, England, to meet with the 49-years old Roach. “We went to Manchester because it was very important to us to make Freddie a part of our team,” Sturm explained. “So we had to visit him and not vice versa. The chemistry was right from the beginning, it only took us 30 minutes to reach an agreement. We are both excited to work with each other.”

But why did he choose the American Freddie Roach and not a German trainer? Sturm: “He is the best. He is specialized in the lower weight-classes. There is almost no other trainer who can get you ready for a fight like he does. For example, when Pacquiao fought Miguel Cotto, Freddie studied tapes and knew exactly how to beat Cotto even before the contracts were signed and when they started camp, he was able to tell and teach Manny everything he needed to do or know to defeat Cotto. He can read fights like I’ve never seen someone do before. Even if your opponent is a better boxer, Freddie detects his mistakes and develops a fool-proof game plan that enables you to get past this foe.”

“Freddie will turn me into a better fighter,” the 30-years old WBA champion from Cologne, Germany, said. “He turned Manny Pacquiao into a beast and constantly improves Amir Khan. His training regime is hard as hell; he goes full speed all the time.”

Sturm will stay in Germany to prepare for his fights. Therefore, the gym of his manager Roland Bebak will be re-built in a few weeks to accommodate Sturm’s needs on 1200 square meters. But Roach has his own gym in Los Angeles, lives and works in the “City of Angels”. “That won’t be a problem”, the champion said. “Freddie will join us in Cologne seven or eight weeks before the fight. He’ll stay here during that period and there won’t be any overlaps with Manny or Amir.”

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