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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

ROACH: "MANNY IS AT HIS STRONGEST NOW"

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
01 Nov 2016



LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Comebacking Manny Pacquiao is turning 38 next month, but, for chief trainer Freddie Roach, his pupil of 21 years could be in his strongest in terms of punching power.
This, the seven-time Trainer of the Year confessed Monday (Tuesday In Manila) following what could be the now senator’s final sparring less than a week into his encounter with World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas set this Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Thomas & Mack Center inside the University of Nevada campus here.

Pacquiao and his team motored from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where the fighting senator will just go into the motion of ending his long 10 weeks of training that started in Manila last August 23.

“I’ve been training fighters for so long a time and at the receiving end of the strongest puncher of them like Mike Tyson and I never got my arms and shoulder as sore as in the three weeks of working with the mitts with Manny in this camp,” The 56-year-old Hall of Famer admitted to this writer after the day’s workout.

“Manny’s stronger now than when he beat Oscar DeLa Hoya), Ricky (Hatton) and Miguel (Cotto),“ Roach attested. “No, I’m not complaining though for the aches and pains he’s been inflicting on me.“

“Instead, I’m happy for him that that the hard work he’ s been undergoing during training are now producing results,“ he said.

“I think the repeated pronouncements of the other camp that he’s old and nothing more left in his tank come as a challenge to him to prove otherwise.“

“To me, it’s a good sign of things to come on fight night. I see him beating Vargas to a pulp,” he assessed. “No one and nothing scares Manny. You can hurt him, but he’ll fight back when hurt.”

For assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao’s improvements that included his speed was the product of the early preparation the eight-division himself initiated.

Buboy disclosed that when the former congressman from Sarangani suggested to him and fellow assistant trainers Nonoy Neri and Roger “Haplas” Fernandez to start training as early as August, they already knew what’s in their boss’ mind.

“When doing the mitts with me in the then still absent coach Freddie, nagbabaga na ang mga mata nya at talagang todo ang mga suntok,” Pacquiao’s portly childhood friend reminisced. “Nahulaan ko na ang yun ang gusto niyang mangyari, add more power to his punches.”

“And that’s what happened. He developed his punches na parang bakal na mga mythical hero lamang, like Superman ang puwedeng tumagal. From there, naging madali na ang lahat doon sa iba pang aspeto ng paghaanda.” Buboy said.


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