Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach spends some time talking to Fight Hub TV about Manny Pacquiao’s current form, the style match-up between Pacquiao and Broner, and if he’s concerned that Pacquiao will continue fighting longer than he wants. Roach also questions how good Broner can really be after seeing him get KO’d in a sparring session against Errol Spence. Check out some excerpts below...
Roach on how surprised he is to see Pacquiao able to maintain his level of conditioning at age 40:
“Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I mean, the thing is I remember when I retired at 27-years-old, I was all washed up. The thing is Manny Pacquiao has 70 pro fights and still going really, really strong. I mean he’s as good as I’ve ever seen him, his work ethic is unbelievable.”
On how he assesses the style match-up between Pacquiao and Broner and if he expects it to be difficult:
“Style wise it’s a very difficult fight because Manny enjoys fights much more when the opponents come to him, and he eats them up as they try to come. In this fight Broner is more of a counterpuncher and it’s something we’re gonna have to attack. Manny is better when people are coming to him than when he has to attack somebody. But it’s not something we haven’t faced before, obviously...He has the game plan down, we know how to beat this guy.”
On Broner not worried about his punch output, but rather believing he’ll time Pacquiao with the right punches to stop him:
“I don’t see that happening. I mean, the thing is, being a counter puncher is usually very difficult. Most counterpunchers are good punchers because they are losing the fight round by round by round by being the one going away, being the counterpuncher, and not making the fight happen. Any close round the judge gives it to the aggressor who’s making the fight happen.
“So counter punchers are really in a tough spot and if they don’t have that real true knockout power to get someone fatigued and get them to a point where they can knock them out in the end, it usually goes the other way. So it’s a very difficult style to win with also, but the thing is it’s difficult for my fighter to compete with that a little bit.
“But Manny’s done enough in his lifetime and he knows how to handle it. He knows exactly what to do and if you notice the footwork and the angles, where he’s never in line for the right hand to land. He’s always on the outside and I didn’t even have to tell him today, he just did it automatically...I’m really happy where he’s at right now. Broner, you’re in trouble.
“Manny, for the first time ever in his life, he wants a knockout, and Manny will get what he wants...”
On when he thinks Pacquiao will start taking over the fight:
“Right away. Yeah, ‘cause our opponent will not come forward and take the initiative to start the fight. He’ll be on the back foot and trying to counterpunch. What if we just plow right through that back foot and just put him on the ropes right away? And we could end this early, actually. But I do I think we will break him down somewhat, but it will go a little bit later, but I would be surprised if he goes early though, ‘cause Manny wants this really badly.”
On when he doesn’t want to see Pacquiao fight anymore just due to his age:
“I mean we have an agreement, I told him first time your work ethic starts to slow down I’ll tell you and you will retire.
“It’s not only just the work rate you have to look out for, it’s the legs...I’m 27, I’ve been fighting a lot of fights in my life and so forth, and I’m 27, I’m not that old. My legs are shot, they won’t be steady under me anymore. So what do you do? I mean, you can’t fix that, you gotta call it a day. I mean, in Manny Pacquiao that hasn’t happened. It’s not even close...”
On if he thinks Pacquiao is addicted to the limelight and that’s why he doesn’t want to walk away from boxing:
“He is addicted to it, but the thing is, it’s still the thing that he does best. And you have to take that into consideration. I mean, you know, if he was maybe if he grows into a better senator or president with more knowledge and more time at that job and so forth, I think he would curve that way a little bit. But with boxing being what he does best, it’s what it’s all about. Let’s face it, he wouldn’t be where he is today without boxing. I mean, and that’s why he’s so addicted to it and it’s a very addictive sport.
“I mean, the thing is, once you fall in love with this sport it’s hard to go away.”
On if he has concerns that Pacquiao will continue fighting after he tells him not to:
“I think I’m strong enough to tell him — honestly, I’ve told 7 fighters in my life to retire. 5 told me to go fuck myself, 2 of them retired...It’s very difficult to get people to retire. James Toney told me to go fuck myself. Bernard Hopkins, the same thing.
“Bernard Hopkins in that fight with [Joe Calzaghe] he went to the neutral corner to sit down three times in that fight. I had to go get him and bring him over to our corner. And I said ‘something’s wrong here’...So I told him after the fight, I say ‘maybe you should retire.’ He say’s ‘why?’. I said ‘well you went to the wrong corner three times in the fight...’ and he says ‘you just lost your paycheck.’ And it came true, I lost the [paycheck], but that’s life.”
On Pacquiao wanting to fight the Errol Spence-Mikey Garcia winner:
“Mikey Garcia, I take my hat off to Mikey Garcia for asking for [the Spence fight]. I do. I think he’s one of the bravest people in the world. And I hope [he does] really well. I like Errol Spence, he’s my friend, and I seen him knock out Adrien Broner at the Olympic training center...So Errol Spence can punch and is a very good fighter.
“Adrien Broner, I mean, I’ve seen him knocked out in the gym before with big gloves and headgear. How great can he really be?”