MANILA — Award-winning coach Freddie Roach agrees with his ward world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao that he could knock down Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez in their third fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vergas on November 12.
Roach made the bold prediction as he personally supervised Pacquiao’s training in Baguio City although the training was slowed down by the strong typhoon that battered the city and Northern Luzon and is expected to be affected by two more typhoons in the coming days.
This developed as a colleague of Sarangani Congressman Pacquiao urged him to stage his next bout in Manila to help boost the Philippines’ tourism industry.
Pacquiao should stage at least one “patriotic fight” in the country’s capital before retiring, said party-list Rep. Arnel Ty .
The pound-for-pound king earlier said he was considering retiring by 2013 when he runs for governor in the province of Sarangani.
“We would like to believe that professional boxing is not just about money. That it is also about the sport. And in this case, it is also about Manny giving his country a much-needed lift,” said Congressman Ty, who is a member of the House committee on sports and youth development.
Ty assailed Top Rank Promotions chief, Bob Arum, for saying that “there is zero chance” that Pacquiao would hold any fight in the Philippines, due to the alleged inability of Filipinos to pay for high-priced gate tickets.
“I don’t think Manny himself is personally worried at this stage in his boxing career about making more money. I believe Manny the flag-waver is personally willing to hold a fight here. It is his promoters, who are driven only by financial rewards, who don’t want a fight here,” Ty said.
“Mr. Arum is underestimating the capacity of Filipinos to go out of their way to pay for expensive tickets just to see their idol fight. We Filipinos can be very passionate fans,” the lawmaker added.
Ty also said the Philippines has more than enough large corporations that would be willing to help sponsor Pacquiao’s bout in Manila.
Roach shrugged off the many distractions hitting the training of Pacquiao for his November fight, saying it is “part of our lucky charm.”
“It’s always been like that since we started training here. It’s always been an issue. Typhoons, social commitments, etc. It’s part becoming a part of our lucky charm,” he said with a smile.
Last Friday, Pacquiao drove to Manila to attend with his family and celebrate the birthday of five-year-old daughter Princess, canceling his scheduled workout on the road and at the Shape Up boxing gym inside the Cooyeesan Hotel.
Last week marking a fortnight of his three week stay here, the wrath of typhoon “Pedring,” lashed out the entire Luzon,” likewise, canceled several of his roadworks.”
“Well, in the first place, Manny is a family man. It’s within his right to join the celebration of his daughter. Secondly, that kind distractions is already in the calendar,” Roach told PNA reporter Eddie G. Alinea.
“No distraction really as far as the training schedule is concerned. We’ve been expecting this things to happen and we already have prepared remedies to offset them,” Roach added.
To make up, Pacquiao for the training, Pacquiao has been playing basketball, saying it is the most effective way to make up for whatever mileage he lost on the road.
Pacquiao preferred basketball instead of swimming which was proposed by his strength and conditioning coach Alex Airza.
In the sparring department, Roach said that what had been started Thursday last week, the frequency would be increased to five rounds instead of four in his three previous skirmishes with lightweight contender Jorge Linares.
“No addition yet. It’s still very early in the game and I don’t want to hurry things up,” he said. We have to be careful. I don’t want to push him hard. Burning out is one of the things I don’t want to happen here.”
“I just want to maintain what we’ve started here. This part of the training is actually for Linares who’s fighting for the world lightweight championship on October 15,” he said.
“Truth is, Manny has offered this phase of preparation to Linazres. Although they will both benefit for this, Linares stand to get more from Manny. Linarex needs this more than Manny,” the four-time ‘trainer of the year’ said.