Trainer Freddie Roach took part in a conference call Wednesday morning to help hype the Nov. 23 faceoff between his guy Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios.
It was 11 PM in the Philippines when Roach chatted with media. The trainer said he thinks Manny will outbox Rios and then stop him inside the sixth. He'd like Marquez one more time, he said, when asked about what could come next, after a win.
Roach said there are two sparring days left and they will go to Macau after camp in General Santos City ends Monday. He likes their gameplan and said that it will be a "great night" for the Philippines. He said yes, there is some extra anticipation because Manny has lost two straight.
Roach was asked about Manny's hard sparring in the past with banger Ruslan Provodnikov. He said that Manny knows how to handle himself, and he knows how to handle Manny.
The horrific typhoon in the Philippines was discussed. The training hasn't been affected, and Manny is focused on boxing, but the subject of the tragedy of course comes up. Manny the Congressman has had to take a lot of calls, Roach said, and of course as a caring soul, Manny does get distracted some. The gym does get overrun by friends, and possemembers, and the like but Roach said it hasn't been too crazed.
Arum, by the way, gave 1 million pesos to a charity to aid typhoon victims.
Roach fighters have been on a roll, he said, with Ruslan Provodnikov winning recently; the trainer said he could again be in contention for Trainer of the Year. Roach said he expects Rios is a "tough guy" but Manny will handle him.
And has Manny slipped any, or has the KO loss to Marquez in December lingered in his mind? "He put the knockout behind him," he said. "Manny is doing great...I don't think it's going to affect him at all, but we won't know until the fight." And for those who say this is the end for Pacman? Roach said he was fighting superbly when he was caught. He was going to win by KO shortly, he said, but hey, things happen.
He said when he was kayoed for the first time, it changed him, and he became more cautious. But Manny isn't the same way.
The fight will unfold in the morning in Macau, and Roach said he is getting Manny ready by having him eat two meals really early. The time zone is the same in the Philippines and Macau, he noted. "It's been working out really well," he said.
If Manny loses, Roach said he'd talk to him about retiring, but that would depend on how the fight went down. If Manny won, but struggled, he said, he'd mull options, and then sit down and talk. "It's hard to say until we see the fight," he said. He referenced an agreement they had which states Manny will respect Roach's call to retire if and when the time comes. But the fight will be easy if Manny fights smart, and doesn't trade too much. Rios is a "tough guy" he said, but tough guys don't win fights.
Freddie said Manny had the day off from training, after a morning run, because he "looked a little tired." Manny will run in the morning, after a 4:30 AM wakeup call.
Promoter Bob Arum, sounding groggy as he just got up, was on the call briefly and then jetted.
It's been seven days of hell, but I'm fine. Thanks for the concern, guys. Ang mga Leyteno magtaas pa at tindog -- "The Leytenos will be up again and standing tall."
I'm leaving for Macao in a couple of days. In the meantime, duty sa akin mga kababayan tawag -- "Duty to my people calls." Thanks to the USA and the world for coming. Tindog Basayas! As MacArthur said, "I Shall Return!" Babalik kami mga Basayahan. Holla!