- Last Updated: 1:36 AM, May 26, 2012
- Posted: 1:27 AM, May 26, 2012
Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach will continue to work with the U.S. Olympic team after a clearing-the-air phone call with the team’s new head coach Basheer Abdullah on Thursday.
Roach’s involvement with the team became unclear when Joe Zanders was removed as head coach following a disappointing showing at the 2011 world championships and a member of the U.S. Boxing board of directors told Yahoo Sports recently “there is no more involvement” between Roach and the Olympic hopefuls.
After speaking with Abdullah, Roach told The Post he’ll resume working with the Olympic team when his schedule permits. Roach has two major fights to prepare for with Manny Pacquiao facing Timothy Bradley on June 9 and Amir Khan fighting Danny Garcia on July 14. But he looks forward to working with the amateurs.
“He’s the head coach and he’s going to call the shots,” Roach said of Abdullah, who coached the 2004 squad. “I said I’d help him as best I could. It was a very good meeting.”
Roach has agreed to hold a camp for the Olympians in his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles as well as attend upcoming training sessions in Colorado Springs.
“Once I get through the Pacquiao fight and the Khan fight, I’ll have time,” said Roach, who volunteered to help the team more than a year ago and has spent a month in Colorado Springs. “I’ve always wanted to help the kids.’’ I know most of them by now. We’ve got a good rapport. The kids just want to work and I want to give it to them.”
Roach also plans on going to the Games in London. “I can’t work the corner,” he said. “But I can warm them up and advise them.”
* Lucian Bute will be in enemy territory tonight when he defends his IBF super middleweight title against former champion Carl Froch in Froch’s hometown of Nottingham, England. The fight will be shown beginning at 6 p.m. ET on EPIX and EPIX.com.
Bute (30-0, 24 KOs) successfully defended his title against Jean-Paul Mendy last July in Romania, where he was born, but his other nine title defenses have all taken place in Canada, where he now lives.
“Let’s give him credit,” Froch said of Bute. “It’s not easy to come away from home. ... So give him credit where credit is due. He’s taking a big chance and a big gamble. But he’s obviously very confident.”
Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) is a two-time super middleweight champion. He is fighting for the first time since losing to Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six super middleweight tournament. Bute did not participate in the Super Six tournament and hoped to fight the winner. But Ward declined.
* Brooklyn’s Sechew Powell (26-4, 15 KOs) gets a chance to raise his status in the junior middleweight division on June 1 when he takes on Gabriel Rosado (19-5, 11 KOs) of Philadelphia in the latest installment of the NBC Network’s Fight Night boxing series. The fight will take place in Bethlehem, Pa.
Ronald Cruz (16-0, 12 KOs) of Bethlehem takes on Prenice Brewer (16-1-1, 6 KOs) of Cleveland for the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title in the other televised bout. Powell was tabbed as Rosado’s opponent after Joel Julio withdrew. Powell was in shape and ready after spending several weeks in the training camp of Delvin Rodriguez, who will face WBA junior middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout as part of quadruple header on Showtime June 2.
Tickets in Bethlehem are priced at $50 and $75 as well as luxury suite seats for $125.00. Tickets can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) or online at www.peltzboxing.com.Follow @NYPostsports