LAS VEGAS—Is Manny Pacquiao on the wane?
Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t think so, stressing that Pacquiao still has more to give based on his ward’s performance at the end of their training camp for Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV.
“What he’d shown me, he can still do it. They (Pacquiao bashers) haven’t seen the best of Manny yet,” Roach told select members of the media at the baby lounge of MGM Grand Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
“They’re going to see the best of Manny,” added Roach, who is confident Pacquiao will turn in a much-better performance against Marquez on Saturday night.
As proof, Roach said Pacquiao scored four knockdowns against three sparmates in the course of their seven-week training at his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Roach admitted that he’d asked Pacquiao to knock Marquez out, just to shut the Mexican’s loud mouth.
But if Pacquiao fails to do so for the sixth straight fight, Roach is willing to settle for a clear and lopsided decision.
“We’re hungrier this time. Ready to go,” said Roach. “My ward is 100 percent focused. We’re going to knock him out.”
Legendary Mexican trainer Ignacio Beristain, who has produced 25 world champions and is also enshrined in boxing’s Hall of Fame, however, is also convinced that Marquez is in prime position to prove that he was indeed robbed of victory in their third fight, or even the first two.
Beristain said Marquez is a smart, thinking fighter who can make the adjustment in the ring much better than Pacquiao can.
But he warned Marquez to be careful if he decides to go on offensive mode as “Manny is very strong, explosive, very unpredictable.”
Having learned from battling Pacquiao for 36 rounds, Berestain said Marquez will finally get the judges’ nod this time.
Earlier, Pacquiao said he is prepared to do battle with Marquez and counter whatever the four-division champion will bring into the ring.