No knockouts guaranteed
HOLLYWOOD—He’s been burned several times predicting a Manny Pacquiao knockout victory.
And Freddie Roach is no longer making predictions that a nine-year wait for a stoppage will end on Nov. 5, when Pacquiao takes on WBO champion Jessie Vargas for the welterweight belt at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“I won’t guarantee a knockout,” said Roach during Pacquiao’s media workout Wednesday at Wild Card Gym here. “If it comes, it will be a bonus. No guarantee.”
Roach is sure, though, that Pacquiao will become champion again. And he’s not basing it just on the senator’s impressive showing in training, but also on Pacquiao’s pronouncements.
“I want to become the first active senator to become champion,” said Pacquiao. “I want the belt.”
Roach, a seven-time trainer of the year, believes Vargas will be a good counterpuncher who may eventually
run away from Pacquiao on fight night.
But if Vargas chooses to be aggressive, Roach said it will work in Pacquiao’s favor.
“Vargas (27-1, 10 knockouts) is not a puncher,” Roach said. “But I think he will come out instantly to test Manny’s power.”
Pacquiao shrugged off Vargas’ boast that he’d be the faster guy on the ring.
“I will prove him wrong,” said Pacquiao.
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