Old dog, old trick: Roach devises tested scheme for Pacquiao vs Spence | Inquirer Sports
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ON 42-YEAR-OLD LEGS

Old dog, old trick: Roach devises tested scheme for Pacquiao vs Spence

/ 05:25 AM July 24, 2021
Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr pose for the media following their press conference at Fox Studios on July 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Their fight is scheduled on Aug. 21, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 11: Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr pose for the media following their press conference at Fox Studios on July 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. AFP

Freddie Roach, the Hall of Fame trainer, is pulling off an 11-year-old template from his impressive archive for Manny Pacquiao to use against the younger, bigger and hungrier Errol Spence.

He feels Pacquiao could use the swift in-and-out moves technique he expertly employed in beating Antonio Margarito back in 2010. Problem is Roach will have to ask the legs of a 42-year-old to carry that out this time.

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“When he breaks in with a combination, he can’t sit in the pocket,” Roach told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. “If he sits in the pocket, he’ll get hit back and this guys is a good puncher. He’s got to get in, hit and get out of the way.”

Roach knows that with a 5-inch disadvantage in height—and 7 inches in reach—Pacquiao can’t go straight into Spence’s personal space.

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“You have to use an angle. Manny’s been doing that quite a bit and footwork is the key to winning this fight,” Roach added.

But although Pacquiao’s footwork, and the speed with which he flashes it, has been unmatched in the whole of boxing, age could be a factor on their Aug. 21 world welterweight championship fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Manny’s footwork is better than anyone’s. He’s on his toes and he can do it for 12 rounds,” said Roach.

Pacquiao himself remembers that fight as the one of the hardest in his career. In fact, he refused to defend the WBC Super Welterweight belt he won that night.

“When Manny picked Spence, I said, ‘Congratulations, you picked the best guy out there,’” said Roach, who also brought in bigger sparring mates and made Pacquiao train an extra two weeks longer than he usually does.

Roach has laid out an answer to the size deficit.

For the 11-year age difference, it will have to wait till fight night.

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TAGS: Errol Spence, Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao
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