Freddie Roach, the five-time trainer of the year who has supervised Manny Pacquiao's rise to superstardom, has agreed to take on a prominent role in coaching U.S. Olympic boxers.
Roach announced Saturday he will open his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood to U.S. boxers, and will work closest with the most elite Olympic qualifiers who have the best chance to claim a medal at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
The U.S. hasn't won a gold medal since 2004, when current super-middleweight champion Andre Ward of Oakland accomplished the feat.
"With the experience I have, I believe I can help the team and get some gold medals," Roach said at a news conference hours before Pacquiao was scheduled to defend his world welterweight title in Las Vegas against Shane Mosley.
Roach is scheduled to begin officially consulting with USA Boxing national coach Joe Zanders of Long Beach when Olympic team candidates gather for a high-performance retreat May 19-22 in Mobile, Ala., Roach's agent, Nick Khan, said. Khan and Los Angeles power broker Casey Wasserman helped craft the partnership.
In a prepared statement, the U.S. Olympic Committee said the Roach program will be "an add-on to the 2011-12 approved high-performance plan with the intent of providing a unique and valuable resource for the designated athletes as a supplement to the existing coaching structure."
Part of the U.S. team's problems in its medal-less skid has been inconsistent teaching, with the amateurs' personal coaches being denied from participating in Olympic coaching in Colorado Springs.
Roach said personal coaches will be allowed at Wild Card.
"My strongest feature is I can get to these people, I'm going to make them part of the team and make them understand what I'm teaching is correct. It will make them better coaches down the line."