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List of Articles by Ronnie Nathanielsz


 

ROACH: PACQUIAO WILL GO AFTER LARIOS RIGHT AWAY
As Team Pacquiao Arrives in Manila


By Ronnie Nathanielsz
PhilBoxing.com
20 Jun 2006

Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach didn't hide his game-plan for Filipino ring idol and national treasure Manny Pacquiao's Mano-A-Mano showdown with former two-time super bantamweight champion Oscar Larios at the Araneta Coliseum on July 2.

Roach noted that Larios "gets better as the fight goes on so we are going to start early and jump right on him." Roach conceded that for all the reports downplaying Larios's ability to handle the speed and power of Pacquiao, the Mexican was "a tough guy who is always in shape. He is a workout freak."

Roach said Pacquiao's training camp at his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles "went very well" and the Filipino southpaw was "in great shape." He said "Manny knows what it is to be in tough fights and we are ready for Larios, whatever he has to offer."

Roach spoke to Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today shortly after his arrival along with Pacquiao, former world flyweight champion Gerry Peñalosa and the members of Pacquiao's management team, Shelly Finkel and lawyer Nick Kahn as well as Russian sparring partner Rustam Nugaev and his manager who were held at the Immigration Office since Nugaev had a Russian passport but no visa and his manager who is from Georgia, a green card and no passport.

Roach, concerned over the many distractions facing Pacquiao when in Manila said he will try to keep the fighter "as isolated as possible" emphasizing that Pacquiao "knows what he's got in front of him so we are going to be focused and train hard." Finkel said Pacquiao was ready and "looked great in training" even as he expressed the hope that "he can keep to a minimum the distractions at home." Finkel added, "there are certain things you are not going to be able to stop but hopefully he gets enough rest, training and stays focused."

Pacquiao himself said "I am ready to fight. I trained hard and studied Larios' style carefully." When informed that Larios had predicted he would win by a KO between the sixth and tenth rounds, Pacquiao let out a hearty laugh and exclaimed "really. Lets see on July 2."

There's a scheduled November 18 third encounter with Erik "El Terrible" Morales and a possible rematch with WBC super featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera next year. However, Pacquiao said he was "not thinking about the Morales fight because I am focused on the Larios fight." Pacquiao who left for Los Angeles last May 13 said he was "excited to see the Philippines again and to practice."

He said he would attend the premier of "Pacquiao The Movie" this evening in which Jericho Rosales plays Pacquiao and Bea Alonzo plays the role of his wife, Jinkee. Pacquiao said he chose the popular actor "because he knows boxing and Bea is nice and acts like my wife does."

Filipino trainer Restituto "Buboy" Fernandez who was on the same Philippine Airlines flight said Pacquiao had "peaked" and everything was fine. He said Pacquiao had sparred 12 rounds on Friday and 10 rounds last Sunday before they left LA. Fernandez said they had studied tapes of Larios fights and paid attention to how he moves adding "let him show what he's got and Manny will do everything he knows."

Fernandez, a longtime and trusted friend of Pacquiao was not ready to make any predictions but said he noticed that Larios was "a slow starter but after five rounds picks up speed. We must do what needs to be done in the early rounds."


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