Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Roach cuts down on Pacquiao’s sparring

Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao is not too far off his top fighting shape that trainer Freddie Roach will cut down on his sparring sessions in his preparations for his March 13 duel with Joshua Clottey in Texas.

In an interview with GMA News’ Chino Trinidad, Roach said 100 to 110 rounds - instead of the usual 150 rounds - will be enough to make the 31-year-old Pacquiao ready for Clottey.

“We don’t need that many rounds. We’re sharp from the last fight (against Miguel Cotto last November). We don’t need 150 rounds for this fight – maybe about a hundred, maybe 110, somewhere in that neighborhood," Roach said.

Pacquiao has so far logged 32 rounds of sparring with younger and bigger guys like Jose Buenavidez, Ray Beltran and Mike Dallas entering the last five weeks of training camp at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

Last Saturday, the Pacman got accidentally hit below the belt by Dallas (11-0-1) but instead of sulking, Trinidad reported that Pacquiao was fired up to unleash clean right hooks and left upper combos that nearly knocked out his 5-foot-9 sparmate down.

Roach said Pacquiao, the Boxing Writers’ Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade" and three-time “Fighter of the Year" Awardee, is fast getting there in so far as reaching 100% is concerned.

“He is already in good shape. The first day he came in the gym, he weighed around 147 pounds already. We have to keep the weight up and feed him five meals a day just to keep it up," the four-time Trainer of the Year winner said in an earlier interview with Fight News.

“He is doing great in sparring and we are studying his game plan as we watch Clottey tapes. He’s not ready to fight yet but we have about four and a half weeks till fight night and he will be ready then," he added.

Roach reiterated his confidence that Clottey, who has never been knocked out before, will suffer the same fate as previous Pacquiao foes like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto.

“I have been studying him (Clottey) quite a bit now. He is very strong and has a good chin but he makes too many fundamental mistakes and I think Manny will be the first person to knock him out," he said.

Pacquiao will be defending his WBO welterweight title against Clottey, who has previously vied for the same belt in June 2009 but yielded a close split decision to then champion Cotto. - GMANews.TV

Source: GMAnews.TV

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