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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

ROACH: "PACQUIAO IS STRONGER AND QUICKER NOW"

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
29 Sep 2016



Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao surprises his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach no more.

A six-round sparring against a pair of dancing mates plus four rounds at the mitts with him for a total 10 rounds atop the ring Tuesday was enough for Roach to believe that the next five weeks of preparations for his ward's forthcoming comeback fight against Word Boxing Organization welterweight Jessie Vargas will not be as hard as other members of Team Pacquiao envisioned it to be.

"I had an inkling Manny will try to impress me as he used to do the past few fights so I asked Justin (strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune) this morning upon my arrival how's everything in the four-week camp," the 56-year-old boxing guru who flew in to Manila the morning of the same day, related to this writer after the day's session.

"Justin told me Manny is very strong and too fast this early of his preparations and that I will have nothing to worry about as far as charting the course of our build up program," the seven-time Trainer of the Year honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America said.

"Seeing him work with Jose Ramirez and one local boy during sparring and being at the receiving end at the mitts, I told myself Justin was right. Manny hasn't change since the Bradley III fight last April," the former fighter himself who as an amateur was an alternate in the U.S. boxing team to the 1976 Montreal Olympics, added.


Pacquiao spars with Jose Ramirez Tuesday in Manila. Photo by Wendell Alinea.

Roach said Pacquiao, a neophyte senator is even stronger and quicker now than when he floored then 147-pound titleholder Timothy Bradley twice in the third and last of their trilogy en route to an easy unanimous decision triumph last April 9.

"Do I expect problems in the remaining days of the camp? Roach asked. "Nope. Everything is there already. "All we need to do is improve a little bit here and polish a little it there."

"Oh, by the way, one little thing we have to worry about is Manny could be a little more aggressive in training that can lead him to overwork and result to over-training," Roach clarified. "But I guess we can readily spot on that and we, Justin, Buboy, Haplas and Nonoy can remind him on time before any damage happen."

Pacquiao himself though allayed fear of being overworked and thus, over-trained. "No. it won't happen. I might seem too excited and too aggressive in training. This is because of the long, four months of inactivity since I last fought.

"But that doesn't mean na sosobra tasyo sa enayo. Alam ko na naman ang kakayahan ko at ng katawan ko. "There's nothing to worry about, really," Pacquiao assured.

But while the eight-division and four-division lineal champion failed to surprise his trainer of 21 years, he did impress Ramirez, an up-and-coming junior-welterweight campaigner who owns an envialable 18-win-loss record spiked by 13 knockouts who arrived in Manila with Roach.

"Very powerful and too quick with his fists," the 24-year-old American Olympian who skirmished with Pacquiao for four rounds before local lightweight Leopoldo Doronio took over exclaimed after his tour of duty.

Pacquiao challenges the Mexican-American Vargas for the latter's 147-pound crown on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center inside the University of Las Vegas-Nevada campus in that gambling city.


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