Trainer Freddie Roach enters a news conference announcing the fight with… (Mike Fuentes / Associated…)
Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach turned 50 the other day, and he's developed a philosophy that has served him well.
"I kinda have refused to grow up -- I still think I'm a kid," noted Roach at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he's been prepping the most dangerous fighter on the planet, Manny Pacquiao, for his fight Saturday against Joshua Clottey, on pay-per-view from Arlington, Texas. "I have the best job in the world, and I don't have to come here anymore, but I do because I love it. I never thought at 50 I'd be having the time of my life."
A dine-out champ
My biggest enjoyment away from the ring is going to restaurants, because I can't cook. I eat out just about every night of my life, and Magnolia on Sunset is one of my favorites. It's kind of laid-back and quiet, so it's good for business meetings. It's not fancy, I'm not into fancy -- I can go like this, in a sweater and shorts, and they'll let me in. The steak salad is really good.
The Hungry Cat across the way is great too. They have maybe the best hamburger in town. I sit at the counter and then no one complains why this one guy is taking up a whole table.
The Bowery up the street has a really good burger as well -- it's served with blue cheese on an English muffin, although with my new diet I can't have the muffin anymore. I've lost about 25 pounds.
And it's hard to keep it off, because I now live in Hancock Park and there's an Umami Burger nearby that's fantastic.
The Palm Restaurant on Santa Monica is another favorite; I know all the guys who work there. One of them is Filipino like Manny, so I never have to wait for a table, which is good because I never make plans. I just show up. They have very good steaks there. Mastro's on Canon has good steaks too; I recently won a lawsuit and took a bunch of people there to celebrate. It was expensive but worth it. Good boxing crowd there too.
Hangin' in the Hills
I go to Giuseppe Franco's on Canon in Beverly Hills to get my hair cut. When I first came out here to L.A. to train Mickey Rourke, I didn't know any place or anybody, so we used to hang out there. And then I'd stop off at Caffé Roma for a meal, where people like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gene Simmons from KISS still hang out.
Sometimes, I take my fighters to run the dunes at Zuma Beach -- it's a nice way to work out on a Sunday -- and then we go eat at the hotel across the street, but I don't really hang out much at the beach. I have my own little circles.
For breakfast, I like Ammo on Highland. It's a little expensive, but it has good food, and I like the counter there. After that, I might walk up to the ArcLight and see a movie. It's a good way to get away from boxing for a little bit and kill some time.
The best movies I've seen recently are "Kung Fu Panda" and "The Incredibles" -- what can I say, I love animation. "Up" wasn't bad, although it was a little sad. But I didn't cry.