Roach: Pacquiao 100 percent ready
HOLLYWOOD—If Freddie Roach would have his way, he’d want Manny Pacquiao to take it easy starting Monday.
In fact, he doesn’t want to see his prized ward reporting for work that day.
“Done, 100 percent,” Roach told Filipino sportswriters on Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila) after watching Pacquiao spar and do the mitts at his Wild Card Gym here.
“I’m very happy with where he is (physically) right now,” said Roach. “I tried to cancel Monday’s workout, but he said he needed it to keep his sharpness.”
As a concession, Roach relented and allowed Pacquiao to spar for three rounds and do the mitts for another three in the afternoon on Monday before Team Pacquiao heads for Las Vegas in a convoy.
“And that’s it. We’re done,” said Roach, noting that he doesn’t want Pacquiao to overtrain for his Nov. 5 (Nov. 6 in Manila) tussle with Jessie Vargas for the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“We’re going to be careful about doing too much and probably getting burned out,” said Roach, noting that at this stage of his career, Pacquiao doesn’t need to spar much as he already knows what he’s doing.
Just like Saturday, when he again dominated former world title contender Ray Beltran for six rounds in a session done behind closed doors.
“He’s having a lot of fun. Foot speed, hand speed, he put it all together,” said Roach.
Counting the three rounds he’d do Monday afternoon, Roach said they would total around 90, the fewest ever for Pacquiao, for this training camp that started in Manila.
According to Roach, gone are the days when Pacquiao would spar between 120 and 150 rounds, which happened in one of his four fights against Juan Manuel Marquez.
For his part, Pacquiao said he’s pushing himself hard in training because he wants to prove that there’s still a lot of fight left in him.
“Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda (Only a carabao gets old),” said Pacquiao, who is turning 38 on Dec. 17.
“That’s why I’m so intense in training that they (coaching staff) have to stop me.”
Roach saw the spring in Pacquiao’s legs and the snap in his punches— enough reasons to reward his prized fighter with a well-deserved break.