Hall-of-fame trainer Freddie Roach made some comments recently on eight-division world champion and Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao. The multiple-time trainer of the year shared his thoughts on Pacquiao’s knockout drought and his desire to snap out of it.
Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO’s) is scheduled to face American Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KO’s) on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He’s now deep in training with Roach in his home gym in General Santos City, Philippines.
“Manny told me that he’ll be looking for a knockout in this fight because he wants to knockout Bradley. That’s the first time he said that to me in like 10 years, it’s been a long time,” Roach told ES News Reporting recently.
“I like when he says stuff like that because it’s right up my alley and that’s what I want him to do in this fight. I don’t care if Teddy Atlas says he’s seen [Bradley’s] fire or whatever story he has. This is not a storybook, this is a fight.”
Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent since his 2009 stoppage of Miguel Cotto. Since then, he’s gone 7-3 with each of his victories going the distance. Every time Pacquiao has climbed into the ring since, fans have clamored for him to return to old form, when he was a young, fierce champion knocking opponents out left and right.
But despite Pacquiao being unable to knock out opponents in the ring, he’s still maintained enough speed and power to remain a force at 147 pounds. Now, at the tail end of his career, Pacquiao vows to score a knockout one last time.
Roach however, feels Pacquiao’s power just didn’t translate into his weight hike.
“[Pacquiao] is not a big puncher at 147. That’s a clear fact. At 140 he was a better puncher, at 135 he was an even better puncher,” said Roach.
“That’s just the way it is, he didn’t carry the punch [power] up to 147.”
Pacquiao has expressed his desire to end his career post-Bradley and is adamant that this will be his final bout.
If this is true, Roach may soon follow suit. Despite being one of the most sought after trainers in boxing, Roach is also getting up there in age and the end is near for one of the greatest fighter-trainer combos in the history of the sport.
The 56-year old Roach credits his success in boxing to the fighters that he had the honor of training.
“I’ve been with like 33 world champions but believe me, I didn’t make all those champions. A lot of those fighters made me,” said Roach.
“I think the fighters make the trainers to be honest with you. During a fight, I sit down. They fight. Give them the credit.” – By Carlos Cinco
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