Yesterday I had time to kill so I fired up HBO Go and looked around. Twenty minutes and three bad choices later I decided to watch On Freddie Roach, a 6 part documentary about the legendary boxing trainer who despite living with Parkinson’s disease continues to be the best in his line of work. I don’t follow boxing but I do know that he is Manny Pacquiao’s trainer so I figured we’d see a lot of him training Manny.
What I got was a great show which lists Peter Berg as an executive producer, the man behind my favorite show Friday Night Lights. The series was fantastic showcasing first his training of Amir Khan, another boxer who I actually know better than Pacquiao. This series opening episode was fantastic showing the basic outline for Freddie was a boxing coach with a young star. Freddie is more than just a coach though, he is a manager, and perhaps most importantly he seems to really be the guys’ “master” in a traditional martial arts sense. They listen to his every word and when they mess up Freddie doesn’t get angry but gives the most constructive feedback you can possibly give. But enough about Freddie Roach the coach.
The series switches in episode 2 when we are introduced to Freddie’s brother Pepper, his mother, and the rest of the guys and girls that make up Wild Card Boxing. We see Pepper deal with a health issue in the series, and Freddie’s reaction to it shows the true humanity he has. On Freddie roach is more than just boxing it’s more than just Parkinson’s it’s a man. The best man in the business, as a trainer, and a person.
On Freddie Roach is a must watch for any sports fan, even if you don’t particularly care for boxing. I recommend it for anyone who loves real life drama. There isn’t anything too violent for children, there is a lot of cussing, and some description of violence though. I believe the TV 14 rating might really be more suitable for what a 12-year-old is accustomed to these days. Men and Women who don’t care for any sport at all can get into this based on the story of his life with an abusive father, and growing up very poor being one of 7 kids. Top this off with his battle with Parkinson’s and you’ve got one hell of a drama with some boxing added in. This story is more about a man than about boxing; and is a must watch for anyone.