One of true professors of the sweet science is unquestionably Freddie Roach, a multi-time award-winner from the Boxing Writers Association of America who is called on by the likes of Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and, of course, sensational superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Simply put, the man knows his way around the squared-circle.
Recently Roach was asked to list his Top 5 boxers in MMA while visiting Inside MMA. The list featured standard fare, such as BJ Penn and Nick Diaz, but was topped by a man who isn’t even necessarily known for his pure boxing – Anderson Silva.
Roach glowed when talking about the middleweight champion’s approach in the ring, crediting Silva for his striking savvy. The Brazilian once teased a run in boxing, even going so far as to mention Roy Jones Jr. as someone he wanted to test himself against.
Another high mark came in regards to Diaz who was referred to by Andre Ward, a highly decorated 25-0 middleweight champion, as “a beast.”
Read below for Roach’s Top 5 boxers in MMA with some attached comments:
5. KJ Noons – “Very dedicated, work ethic is great, and I just love his tenacity in the ring.”
4. Nick Diaz – “He’s great with his hands…and I’m looking forward to facing him with GSP some day because there’s a lot of talk about that.”
3. BJ Penn – “One of the best strikers I’ve ever been in the ring with. A good guy to be around and a hard, hard worker; a great striker.”
2. Georges St. Pierre – “A real gentleman and one of the best students I’ve ever had. I’d show him a move, he comes back with it, he knows it the next day…you know he practiced all night in the mirror.”
1. Anderson Silva – “One of the best guy who understands distance and timing. He’ll suck you in, he’ll set you up. He’s one of the most intelligent fighters I’ve ever seen.”
Video of the full interview:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC