By Steve Carp
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Michael Hunter can count on seeing a lot more of Freddie Roach.
Hunter, the 201-pound Golden Gloves champion from Las Vegas, trained at Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club a few weeks ago to prepare for the national tournament.
On Saturday, USA Boxing announced that Roach, Manny Pacquiao's head trainer, will work with the U.S. boxing team for the 2012 London Olympics.
Roach said he wouldn't have signed on to help unless he thought he could make a difference.
"I think it's embarrassing that America's not winning more gold medals," Roach said. "I want to help the Olympic team get back in form. I know the game well, and I think I have a lot to offer these kids."
Roach said his Olympic duties won't interfere with his primary role of training Pacquiao, Amir Khan and the other professional fighters he oversees.
"Manny was hoping I would train the Philippine Olympic team," Roach said. "But I'm an American. I need to help my country."
Roach will not be the head coach. That position belongs to Joe Zanders, a longtime amateur coach who was on the U.S. staff at the 2004 Athens Games.
Roach and Zanders know each other well and have talked extensively about what Roach's role will be.
"Me and Joe get along well," said Roach, who is volunteering his time and will begin his advisory duties this month during a retreat in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We've been working on this idea for about a year, and I'm looking forward to working with the kids."
The Olympic boxing trials will be in late July at a site to be determined. Hunter qualified for the trials after winning a gold medal last week at the Golden Gloves nationals.