Philippines, 22 Feb 2020
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ROACH: PACQUIAO IS A LITTLE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY - After another grueling day of workouts on the road and in the gym, celebrated trainer Freddie Roach says Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao is “a little bit ahead of schedule” in his preparation for the eagerly awaited rematch with legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on October 6.

With Pacquiao's friend and confidant Rex “Wakee” Salud responding immediately and effectively to the demand of Roach that Pacquiao be given privacy in training and shielded from clandestine efforts to shoot footage of his sparring and distractions caused by fans crowding into the nicely laid out but small gym, the workouts picked up in tempo and focuss.

Roach said “once you get Manny focused there is no better athlete in the world. Once he gets into training mode there is nobody better I've ever had. His work ethic is great.”

With the privacy they now enjoy, Roach said they were able to “develop the gameplan a little bit. What's going to work in this fight for him (Manny) and what to watch out for on Barrera's side of course.”

Roach made it clear that Barrera “is a tough guy and if you don't respect him and come out of shape or something like that, that's the only way he can win the fight” against Pacquiao. He added that a one hundred percent Manny “which he will be for this fight will walk right over this guy (Barrera).”

Roach indicated he didn't want Pacquiao to overtrain and occassionally steps in to hold back his prized fighter who wants to push himself beyond the limit. Roach said he planned to have Pacquiao spar six rounds today against talented Mexicans David Rodela and Raymundo Beltran as well as Filipinos Arnel Tinampay and Aaron Melgarejo. He said the two Mexicans were “really good and the two local boys are really strong guys.” Roach said he planned to use the local fighters “for strength work because they are a little bit bigger.”

The two-time “Trainer of the Year” explained his decision not to allow unknown people to shoot footage of Pacquiao sparring because some of it ends up on the internet. He said “we have a gameplan and we dont want Barrera to know going into the fight because that will give him an advantage.” However, when Viva Sports which is covering Pacquiao's training for a one hour TV special on September 30 on the top-rated weekly boxing show “The Main Event” sought permission to film the sparring, Roach replied “we know the media needs to promote a little bit but with guys like you we know it won't end up on the internet tomorrow.”

The giant broadcast network ABS-CBN with the remarkably hardworking Dyan Castillejo, a former Philippine tennis star, is covering Pacquiao all the way along with GMA 7 which is tied up with Pacquiao-Barrera rematch TV rights holders Solar Sports.

One of the happiest spectators watching Pacquiao train was his charming wife Jinkee who was all smiles as we took a look at a fabulous diamond ring which was a surprise gift from Manny when she arrived in Cebu along with their baby daughter Divine Grace who turns one on October 1. In-between breaks in his afternoon workout Pacquiao played with his little daughter who kept saying “papa, papa” as her father worked on the mitts and looked at the action with wide-eyed innocence.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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