Freddie Roach has worked with both Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, but his loyalty would lie with GSP if the two were to fight.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show, Roach discussed the potential matchup, Silva’s striking and more.
On how St. Pierre and Silva matchup: “If they fight, the size difference is, I think, possibly too much. But the thing is, if they did fight, I do know the style of Anderson very well. I know how he thinks a little bit. I know how he likes to lay on the ropes and how he likes to counterpunch a lot. We’d have to come up with the perfect game plan and we’d have to fight a perfect fight to win that one. There’s nothing impossible in the world. ... Georges is definitely my guy and I’d train him to win that fight. We’d do the best we can, and I’ll you one thing: It would be a war.”
On why Silva didn’t impress Roach at first when training at Roach’s gym: “[Silva spars] like Manny Pacquiao. [Pacquiao] doesn’t blow me away in the gym either because Manny’s about 30-40 percent also. Guys with that talent, they don’t really need to use everything they have. They save it for the fight. They’re veterans. It’s not bad. It’s just part of life. ... [Silva is] a very talented guy. The thing about Anderson, he understands distance and timing a little bit better than most at least in the boxing field. I learned that he was just toying with my guys because when I saw him fight for real, he was a whole different guy. When he wants to turn it up, he’s the best.”
On where Silva’s power comes from: “His power comes actually from the timing of his shots and the distance. To knock somebody out, you have to be in the perfect place [and have] the perfect distance and the perfect timing. You catch a guy coming into the shot and so forth. He makes it look easy, but it’s just about timing and distance. He’s really just a master at that. When he came into my gym and he was boxing with some of my heavyweights, he was laying on the ropes and just kind of teasing them a little bit, giving them a little bit of success and then turning that success into disaster. He’s very good at that.”
On how he forms a standup strategy for his fighters: “You’re setting traps up and so forth and you’re trying to walk [opponents] into combinations. Really what I watch is people’s habits and not their mistakes. What they do all the time, the moves they make when you throw a particular punch -- he blocks it this way or that way. Once you get the habits down of a fighter, it’s pretty much something they can’t stay away from or they can’t not do it. Once you learn that, it’s very effective of course. I don’t look for mistakes because anyone can make a mistake. I look for their habits. ... It’s really a lot of studying of tapes. You have to watch it over and over and over again and watch if he does it with southpaws and right-handed fighters, if he has the same habits.
“It’s a little bit difficult. Like when I was studying [Floyd] Mayweather for Pacquiao, Mayweather doesn’t have a lot of flaws, but he does have a couple of habits. If he fights a southpaw, he dips into the power of the southpaw, which is a big mistake by him and I think that’s why he doesn’t want to fight Manny Pacquiao because he doesn’t like fighting quick left-handed fighters.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 53:36).