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ROACH: "NOT SO GOOD ..."


PhilBoxing.com





GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- "Not so good ... but not bad either."

This was how Manny Pacquiao's chief trainer Freddie Roach assessed his prized pupil's past two weeks of preparations for his coming fight with American former tormentor Timothy Bradley set April 9 at the MGM Grand in the gambling city of Las Vegas.

"We have a little bit of catching up to do in this coming week, particularly in the sparring aspect of our program," Roach told this writer Sunday during a dinner hosted by long-time friend Rey Golingan.

If need be, Roach said he might ask Top Rank Promotion, through Pacquiao's business consultant Michael Koncz, for another dance
partner to help Congolese Ghislain Maduma in preparing the eight-division champion in his training program.

He said Maduma though is doing well, so far," but just in case, it would be better if we have two sparring partners before we leave for Los Angeles," he reasoned out.

Team Pacquiao is scheduled to depart on or before March 15 for the U.S. where Pacquiao will resume training at the Roach-owned Wild Card Gym.

Roach, who will turn 56 this coming Saturday, was blaming the cancellation of at least one sparring session Thursday last week in what could have, he said, set the stage for a higher frequency regimen in that department.

Pacquiao hurt his left eye in his first sparring session with Canadian-based Maduma last Tuesday, forcing Roach to cancel the next session. The Hall of Fame trainer actually gave the fighting Sarangani Congressman a two-day respite because of that eye injury, including Wednesday's workout.

The hurting eye evidently affected Pacquiao in the following skirmish Saturday when Roach gave him only five rounds instead of at least seven under the graduated program he prepared.

The session, in fact, had to be stopped a few times in the fourth round Saturday to wipe out the sweat from entering the injured eye and Pacquiao appeared frustrated in his inability to give it all out as he was expected to.

"It's really frustrating because I saw Manny really trying to step up but couldn't," Road noted, adding though that the day did not go for naught. "At least Maduma gave Manny an opportunity to display his capability to cut the ring in Maduma's effort to evade his attacks which we expect Bradley to do come fight night," Roach said.

"One thing I learned from Pacquiao is he's relentless. He's so alert that he expects every move a make," Maduma himself said. "He's a real champion. He's always ready despite his handicap."

Pacquiao and Maduma sparred for fours rounds the first time they met Tuesday.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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