Freddie Roach Holding Mitts for the Living Legends of MMA and Boxing

by Tom Reynolds on March 6, 2011

There are few if any boxing coaches alive that can teach someone how to box better than Freddie Roach. His ability to teach and mold even the greatest fighters has no equal in his sport.

I put together a few videos with Freddie Roach holding mitts for two of boxing’s best, Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, and two of MMA’s best, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva. Pay close attention to the differences in speed and the subtle differences in technique and footwork.

Anderson Silva

World class fighter meets world class boxing trainer.  Freddie breaks down some good combinations and keeps hammering home the fact the Silva tends to drop his right hand (i.e. at 2:59).

Georges St Pierre

GSP has a great jab and a great cross.  They’re very technical.  Roach is definitely pointing out that his shoulders are tight which can lead to slow punches and telegraphing.

Manny Pacquiao

I’m going to start off by saying I have no idea how this guy can be as fast as he is.  Manny Pacquiao is one in a billion.  His speed is out of this world and doesn’t even make sense.


  • Mitts with Roach start at :50
  • Starts out with working Pacquiao’s favorite counter to the jab which is hooking over top
  • 2:30 – Getting to the outside of a big cross and countering
  • And again at 2:45, beautiful…
  • 3:32 – Getting under a hook and causing damage

Amir Khan

While he is no Pacquiao, he has a greater reach and is southpaw so it is interesting to see how Freddie Roach holds mitts for him compared to Manny. Amir’s punches and movement aren’t quite as crisp as Pacquiao’s, but he’s young, hungry and learning from the best.


  • Warm-up starts at :15
  • Mitts start at :45
  • 1:02 – Cameraman gets thrown off the ropes
  • 1:45 – Working an angle change off the jab


Even with this limited evidence, it’s pretty obvious that there is a giant skill gap in hands between the top boxers and the top Mixed Martial Artists. This is understandable as MMA fighters are forced to be a jack of all trades while boxers obviously can have a focus on their art.

Let me know what you guys think below.

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  • Lou Dobb

    Thanks again for the breakdown Eric!

    • Eric

      You’re welcome. More to come.

  • smashmouth

    You are very right, I have been boxing for many years and coach boxing to both MMA and Boxers.  The MMA fighters are jack of all trade and need too but their punching ability is not as crisp or clean as my boxers.  They tend to throw wide punches for power while my boxer throw straighter punches.  When they spar each other I always have to tell the boxers to hold back on their punching and also remind the MMA not to wrestle the boxer down to the ground. LOL.  

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