Pacquiao's training camp best ever, says trainer Roach

source: Mark Lamport-Stokes |

LOS ANGELES - Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach sounded an ominous warning for Shane Mosley on Wednesday, saying his fighter had never prepared better for a bout ahead of their May 7 showdown in Las Vegas.

Roach had been critical of Pacquiao's focus in the lead-up to his most recent fight, a ruthless points victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito in November, but he showered the Filipino with praise on Wednesday.

"This is the best start we've ever had to a training camp," Roach told Reuters at his Wild Card BoxingClub in Hollywood, California. "His focus has been great the whole way through.

"It's probably one of the least distractions we've ever had in training camp and he's doing great. He's concentrating on the fight, he's not taking this guy lightly at all and he's right where I want him to be."

Five months ago, Pacquiao totally outclassed Mexican Margarito when they fought at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to land an eighth world title in an unprecedented eighth weight class.

However, Roach had been concerned by the Filipino's lack of focus during their five-week training camp in the Philippines where Pacquiao has won a seat in his national congress.

"The focus came a little bit later than normal because of the politics in the Philippines but once we get to the Wild Card he is a machine again and he is just unbelievable the way he trains," Roach said.

"It's unbelievable that after eight world titles he trains as hard as he does. He trains harder now than he did his first day he was in the gym and I respect him a lot for that.

"He still has that hunger and it makes me real happy and proud to be associated with a guy like Manny Pacquiao."

Odds-on favorite

The Filipino southpaw has been installed as an odds-on favorite by Las Vegas bookmakers for his WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand with Mosley, an American fighter who has yet to be knocked out.

Asked whether he felt he could become the first person to send Mosley crashing to the canvas, Pacquiao told Reuters: "I don't know. I'm not going to predict the fight but it's going to be a good fight.

"I have done a lot of things in this training camp. We have done our best in training so we just want to make sure that we can give a good fight to the people."

Mosley, like Pacquiao, is known for his aggressive and entertaining approach in the ring. He is also a three-division world champion and, according to Roach, is held in high esteem by the Filipino.

"One thing about Manny Pacquiao, he doesn't take anyone lightly," the bespectacled Roach said. "If he's going to fight me or you, he will train really hard for us too.

"Manny is one of those guys who doesn't want to disappoint his country. If he lost a fight, he would feel like he has let his whole country down and he doesn't want to do that.

"Shane has been there many times and he's going to rise to the occasion. He will fight the best fight of his life, I feel. We would be fools to underestimate Shane and we will not do that, I promise you."

Pacquiao, who has already established himself as one of the best offensive fighters of all time, has a career record of 52-3-2 with 38 knockouts. Mosley is 46-6-1 with 39 KOs. - Reuters




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