MANILA, Philippines – Acclaimed American trainer Freddie Roach is aware that Ghana’s Joshua Clottey is a “very dangerous” fighter that is why he is readying Manny Pacquiao should he go the distance against the Ghanaian on March 13.
“We’re gonna get ready for 12 hard rounds,” Roach told 8countnews.com. “We’ll be ready. We have 6 weeks now to get ready for the fight.”
Roach described the Ghanaian fighter as a “big welterweight” who is stronger than Pacquiao. He also highlighted the fact that Clottey has never been knocked out.
The Trainer of the Year recipient also disclosed that his ward began training on Friday (Saturday in Manila) at the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. “We started training yesterday… 8 rounds of mitts,” he said in a January 23 podcast.
“We’re gonna start sparring one day earlier than normal and get the rounds in,” he continued. “We'll have the game plan down by next week.”
Although it is too early to gauge Pacquiao’s condition, Roach said the 7-division champion is in a “pretty good shape” at 148 lbs.
The Filipino boxing sensation will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt against Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion.
Pressed for time
Since Pacquiao is pressed for time for the Clottey bout, his training camp in at the Wildcard Gym will not be open to the public.
“The gym will not be opening,” noted Roach. He said fans will only be able to have their pictures taken with and get autographs from Pacquiao on Saturday.
“We're only gonna have next Saturday… cuz the fight is too close.”
The Pacquiao-Clottey clash will take place at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Unbelievable, what a place,” Roach said of the $1.2-billion stadium.
All about money
Meanwhile, Roach commented on the botched bout between Pacquiao and undefeated American Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
He said Clottey would give a “better fight for the fans… He doesn’t run.”
The Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown was cancelled due to a disagreement on the drug testing protocol. Mayweather is rumored to be facing Shane Mosley on May 1.
Roach said that once Mayweather sees that he will make less money against Mosley and “he could have made 40 to 45 million [dollars] to fight Manny Pacquiao, he'll come back around, he'll come back around.” – With reports from FightHype.com and 8countnews.com