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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roach on Pacquiao's training, future

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Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, will talk with each week leading up to Pacquiao's March 13 welterweight title fight with Joshua Clottey (on HBO pay-per-view).

This is the second in a four-part series. Part I How'd training go this week?

Roach: Training's going great. Manny's doing very well. We're headed towards our peak. He went 10 rounds on Tuesday. He'll do 11 rounds today (last Thursday) and he'll max out at 12 rounds on Saturday so he'll be in the best shape for the fight. You and Manny have had so much success. How do you keep your message fresh to him?

Roach: He's very smart. We work on moves. Especially with Clottey. We're watching tapes of him. We're finding his flaws and his habits. When you have a new opponent in front of you, you always have to find the best way to fight him. That's how we keep it fresh with a new opponent. Joshua Clottey is dangerous - he's a dangerous guy. We have a lot of respect for him. But I have a lot of confidence in my fighter and we'll knock him out before it's over. You just said Clottey is a dangerous fighter. What are you guys focusing on in training?

Roach: How to break his defensive style when he goes to the ropes. We're working on that quite a bit. We're working on if he's coming to us, if he decides to do that. We're getting ready for every scenario that can happen actually. We've been watching a lot of tapes on him. He fights people with different styles, of course. But his habits are there and we can take advantage. With all the hype surrounding Manny -- people saying he could be the best fighter of his generation -- how hard is it to keep him level?

Roach: It's amazing to me that Manny Pacquiao still comes to my gym and works as hard as he does. It's like the first day he came. After winning seven world titles, you'd think somebody would slow down a little bit, lose their edge, be a little cocky. Not Manny Pacquiao. He trains as hard today as the first day he came to my gym. I actually have to slow him and stop him sometimes and turn the bell off in the ring, so he doesn't work anymore. His work ethic is tremendous and that's why he's such a good fighter. Have you or Manny or both of you started to think about your respective legacies?

Roach: We're not caught up in that so much. I that will settle in maybe when we're both retired and looking back on it. We're in the middle of it right now. It's a great relationship. We have a great rapport with each other. But the thing is, we're just getting ready for fights to fight the best fight we can to please the audience. Manny Pacquiao, he's a performer. He wants to make people happy. That's why he trains so hard and fights so hard. How long do you see Manny still fighting?

Roach: Well, Manny Pacquiao's a fighter -- especially in the way of his dedication he could fight for a long time if he wanted to. But I like to see him fight Joshua Clottey. We'll fight the winner of the Shane Mosley-Mayweather fight. And then I want Manny to retire. He's got a lot of interests in life. He's singing, TV shows, movies and politics. He didn't put everything into boxing. He can do other things also. So I'd like to see Manny retire on top and I'd like to see it pretty soon. With the politics, the acting, the singing, the TV, how does Manny keep it all together?

Roach: He loves to entertain. There's no stage big enough for Manny Pacquiao. He loves to perform. After practice here at the gym he goes to singing classes and stuff like that, voice classes and learns how to play the piano and guitar. He just likes to stay busy with all that. You know a lot of people would say that's a lot of distractions and stuff, you know his mind is on the fight when he's in fight mode. But when he's not in fight mode, he's doing other things and enjoying life. I think he'll be president of the Philippines some day because he cares about his people.


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