Roach: Garcia not an easy fight, not even for Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines — Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach thinks Manny Pacquiao can’t let any hint of complacency creep up on him in a potential showdown with phenom Ryan Garcia.
Pacquiao and Garcia are reportedly in talks for a bout this year.
“The Garcia fight, I really like that fight. I think he’s a good fighter, he’s got a very good left hook, he can punch a little bit, you’ve got to be really careful with him, and that’s the key,” Roach told Fight Hub TV.
“Manny has to be careful with him a little bit and be smart. To beat this guy, you have to do not just ordinary things. [Garcia] is a good fighter. We definitely have to be in the best of shape to beat him, and that’s something we will do.”
Pacquiao is tipped as a heavy favorite against Garcia, but the Filipino legend hasn’t fought since he beat Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title in July 2019.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 15, 2021
The 42-year-old Pacquiao, however, has started training again and on Monday provided fight fans a glimpse of his blinding hand speed in a video on his social media accounts.
Garcia, meanwhile, scored the biggest win of his young career when he stopped former contender Luke Campbell in the seventh round to win the vacant WBC interim lightweight crown last January.
“He’s got a terrific left hook, and he puts people right on their ass with it. He’s not an easy fight for anybody, not even Manny,” Roach said.
Roach, though, has no doubt his prized ward has kept himself busy despite the inactivity.
“[W[here is Manny right now? Is he so into politics in his country? Can he still fight like he used to? And I will say this, with the tapes he’s sent me, yes he does. He works his ass off still, every day,” he said.
Pacquiao has also been rumored for potential clashes with fellow welterweight champions in Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
But before anything else, Roach believes the best option is to fight Garcia first.
“I would like to go with Ryan first. There are certain guys that when you get older, you get a little slower and so forth, and Manny can’t show signs of that coming into the bigger fight against [Spence] and [Crawford], and he needs to do a tune-up fight like this. I think it would be a great fight for him to get ready for.”
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