ROACH: PACQUIAO Has no weight problem

February 26, 2008

Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach says Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao is “doing great. With three weeks to go he’s six pounds overweight (136) and that’s no problem” easing concerns over the possibility that Pacquiao may have to reduce weight in a hurry to make the 130 pound limit.

There have been reports that Pacquiao was hovering around 139-140 pounds and was eating a lot but Roach appeared confident his prized fighter would make the super featherweight limit for his eagerly awaited opportunity to finish some “Unfinished Business” against reigning WBC champion Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on March 15.

He said “six pounds in three weeks is “easy to handle.”

Roach said “I never saw him (Manny) this focused and he is training very, very well.” The trainer said he was adding a fifth sparring partner for Pacquiao, bringing in the opponent of WBC lightweight champion David Diaz on the “Unfinished Business” fight card at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino, Pacquiao is scheduled to move up in weight and fight Diaz for his 135 pound title in late June in Asia’s gambling capital Macau before taking on Britain’s Ricky “Hitman” Hatton in November if plans do not miscarry.

Pacquiao’s latest sparring partner, 25 year old Ramon Montano, has a record of 14-3-2. He scored a split ten round decision over Cristian Favela last October 5. Favela is the same fighter who lost an eight round unanimous decision to Filipino southpaw Czar Amonsot on February 3, 2006.

Roach said Montano “fights like Marquez a little bit so he will give Manny a very, very good workout.” Among the other sparring partners are Daniel Cervantes, Raymond Beltran, David Rodela and undefeated Juanito Garcia who also fights somewhat like Marquez.

Roach said he was very happy with the way Manny was progressing and said “we have to be a little bit careful because he wants to overwork. We are averaging fifty three rounds a day and he wants to do more and more and more.”

In his latest workout Roach disclosed that Pacquiao did 16 rounds on the mitts non –stop, working right through the rest period.”

Roach said the right hand which they have been developing in Pacquiao’s last few fights was “excellent, beautiful.” At the same time Roach said Marquez “better be in top condition” for their rematch. Responding to statements by Marquez that he would be more aggressive this time around instead of merely counter-punching, Roach said “I hope so. I hope so. If he comes to us it will make a more exciting fight for everybody.”

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