Trainer Freddie Roach says that Manny Pacquiao has had a great training camp, and talks more about the accusations of Juan Manuel Marquez not being 'natural,' as well as his distaste for all strength and conditioning coaches.
Marcos Villegas, The Boxing Channel: "Just reading around the internet and hearing about this training camp, it seems that Manny's got everything together, and that this is the best shape, best camp you've been a part of with him in a very long time."
Freddie Roach: "It is. We've had a very good camp, he's very focused. We cut down on the Bible study a little bit, and we've got more focus on the training. He's in a good place right now. No distractions. He and the family are getting along great. He's cut out everything bad in his life. He's giving me the fire I want. I told him, I said, 'Manny, I'll give you $1,000 every time you knock a sparring partner down.' I owe him $4,000 right now. He won't take it, but I just wanted to motivate him to do that, because we haven't had knockdowns in sparring since the Cotto fight. It's been a long time coming. His focus is a lot better than it's been, and I think Marquez is going to have a lot of trouble with this Manny Pacquiao. This is what I expected him to be in the third fight, but we had some problems going into that in the last week, personal problems and so forth. His focus wasn't quite there. I don't see that happening this time. You're going to get the real Manny Pacquiao, and I think we'll do really well."
Villegas: "Having trained for Marquez four times already and having fought him three times, is there anything new you've picked up from that last fight, anything new that you've learned from him?"
Roach: "Not really. The thing is, I just watched the three fights, and what I've been doing is, I've been taking the points where Manny has the most success. And that's what I'm pushing in the gym, those points when we're at our best."
Villegas: "What would you say those points were?"
Roach: "Speed and aggressiveness. When he does that, he overwhelms Marquez, just walks right through him. That's what we need to do."
[ Related: Pacquiao not worried about Marquez's added bulk ]
Villegas: "Would you be worried that if he is aggressive, he'd be caught? I know in the first fight, he was aggressive, but he was caught with a lot of counter shots, more so than usual."
Roach: "Getting caught is part of the game. This guy's a good puncher, but that's part of the game. We're gonna get caught sometimes because we want to exchange with him. When you exchange with people, it happens."
Villegas: "What do you make of this new Marquez? I call it 2.0, this new muscular, big Marquez. I know there's been a lot of talk about him."
Roach: "Well, I hate to like -- everyone says that we're on steroids. Now he's way bigger than us. It doesn't look natural. He built that muscle quite quickly. He has a controversial strength and conditioning coach. And, you know, I think if we got rid of all the strength and conditioning coaches in the world, they're all way overrated and they're bullshit, we got rid of all of them, we would have no drugs in boxing."
Villegas: "Manny does use a strength and conditioning coach, too, Alex Ariza--"
Roach: "He's only trained with him once since he's been here. He doesn't really use him. He just stretches him."
Villegas: "OK, so there's not really a lot of work coming from his part."
Roach: "That's it. Every day, stretching. He's only ran with him once this entire camp. Manny knows how to get in shape. Manny asked me, 'Can I do my own thing?' I said, 'Do it.'"
Villegas: "And he just wants to do it just because he feels comfortable with it? Or is there a reason why?"
Roach: "He's comfortable with it. Of course. He knows his body better than anybody, so he knows where he likes to run. He likes the hill, and that's what he attacks. He did an hour and a half this morning, a little bit extra, because you guys are going to ruin our workout today."
Villegas: "Looking at Manny, do you feel that you may have gotten everything out of his body, ability-wise, skill-wise? Do you think he's at that point where he's tapped?"
Roach: "He's a pretty finished fighter. But there's still some things Marquez hasn't seen, because the first two fights, Manny was an OK fighter. Then Manny progressed and became a better fighter by using both hands, and combinations with both hands, knocking guys out with both hands. In the third fight, we never showed that, because his mind was somewhere else. I still think Marquez hasn't seen the best Manny Pacquiao yet, and he will in this one. Because there's no chance of any distractions happening this close to the fight. Everything's good. Manny's in a good place. I think Marquez is going to be extremely surprised by this Manny Pacquiao."