Freddie Roach says Manny Pacquiao ‘picked the best guy out there’
Manny Pacquiao sat at ringside in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Arena on March 16, 2019, as Errol Spence Jr. controlled Mikey Garcia and scored a nothing in their greatly hyped welterweight title battle.
Pacquiao went into the ring after the bout and Spence rapidly stated he’d enjoy to combat the Filipino super star.
However members of Pacquiao’s group weren’t so sure about the battle. Spence was the one welterweight of all that made little sense to them.
At almost 5-10 with a 72-inch reach, he’s got more than 4 inches of height and 5 inches of reach on Pacquiao. He’s 11 years more youthful. The benefit in almost every quantifiable goes to Spence.
Still, however, Pacquiao desired the battle and is a +180 underdog at BetMGM.
“The Senator knows what he’s looking at,” stated Sean Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao’s MP Promos.
Gibbons wasn’t so sure. Nor was Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s famous fitness instructor.
“He wasn’t my first choice,” Roach stated of Spence. “I was leaning toward Mikey Garcia, because he challenged us several times and so forth. When Manny picked Spence, I said, ‘Congratulations, you picked the best guy out there.’”
And now, less than a month prior to their Aug. 21 date in a welterweight championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Roach has actually occurred to Pacquiao’s perspective.
They’ve turned up with a tactical plan that Roach thinks will work, and he’s viewing Pacquiao carry out every day in the fitness center.
However he had the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who hasn’t battled given that beating Keith Thurman in 2019, created a longer than regular training school. It’s a story as old as the hills in boxing, where reports constantly distribute that the sparring partners are taking a pounding.
Roach, however, stated he’s needed to generate more knowledgeable partners to provide Pacquiao much better work.
“We started early because this is one of the toughest guys out there and we really needed the time to get ready,” Roach stated. “I hired some really good sparring partners and then I fired some really good sparring partners and hired even better guys. I’m doing everything we can to get Manny 100 percent into the fight. We still have a month to go and Manny’s getting better and better.”
Both Pacquiao and Spence are left-handers which can tend to be challenging due to the fact that left-handers don’t see other southpaws typically. However Roach stated Pacquiao stands out versus southpaws due to the fact that of the large variety of left-handers he’s seen for many years in the Philippines.
Pacquiao’s footwork will be the key to the fight, Roach believes. He’ll fight Spence similar to the way he approached Antonio Margarito in 2010, despite the fact that Spence is left-handed and Margarito is right-handed.
Margarito was a super welterweight when he fought Pacquiao and Pacquiao simply couldn’t afford to go toe-to-toe with him. So he and Roach concocted a plan in which he’d be on his toes, dart in, throw combinations and zip out.
It’s going to be much the same against Spence, Roach stated.
“Manny was in and out, in and out, and when he does that, his opponent doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going,” Roach stated. “When he breaks in with a combination, he can’t sit in the pocket. If he sits in the pocket, he’ll get hit back and this guy is a good puncher. He’s got to get in, hit and get out right away.
“And you can’t just go straight right in on him. You have to use an angle. Manny’s been doing that quite a bit and footwork is the key to winning this fight. Manny’s footwork is better than anyone’s. He’s on his toes and he can do it for 12 rounds.”
More from Yahoo Sports:
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.