Roach, who is currently training Manny Pacquiao for his upcoming fight with Brit Ricky Hatton, had refused to work with Rourke in 1990 because he was not committed or disciplined enough to be a good fighter.
"I came out to Hollywood. I was here for seven days (and) he showed up in the gym one day in seven.... I ripped him so bad he actually cried," the Daily Express quoted Roach as saying.
Even 'The Wrestler' star remembers the dressing down he got from the top coach, which led him to beg the trainer to reconsider.
"Freddie came into the gym one days and he goes, 'Listen, I don't train people to lose fights; you're not running, you're not doing this, you're not doing that. I'm going back to Las Vegas'," Rourke recalled.
"I was making all kinds of excuses because my head was crazy... I was in tears. Freddie packed his bags and went back to Las Vegas.
"Freddie humiliated me, embarrassed me and reduced me to the fact that I was not giving 100 per cent, I was not being a professional and I was setting myself up to not be as good as I could be," he stated.
Rourke refused to give up, and kept on calling up Roach.
"He called me every day for 30 days and then finally I said to him, 'OK, if I come back, the next day you have off is the one I give you'," Roach said.
"I think he had discipline in his life for the first time ever," he added.
Rourke quit acting and trained to become a professional boxer. Roach coached him for seven of eight fights before Rourke retired from the ring unbeaten. He won half his fights by knock-outs. (ANI)