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Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao Was Not Focused Early in Training

On Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, we will find out if Team Pacquiao is honest or just a bunch of lying salesmen. In preparation of Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Antonio Margarito, trainer Freddie Roach (part of a controversy himself), has made it clear he’s been dissatisfied with Manny Pacquiao’s focus. In the first episode of HBO’s 24/7 series on the fight, Roach said that the time they spent in the Philippines prior to returning to LA was the worst training they ever had. Roach said he remembered times when Manny never missed a day of training, but this time around he was busy focusing on other things and even missed sessions.

Freddie even made another reference to Pacquiao’s lack of focus early in training during his pre-fight press conference. “A little bit of a different training camp this time. I think Manny spoils us. Usually he’s ready for a fight after three weeks of training. This time, it took us a little bit longer because Congressman Manny Pacquiao had his mind on congress a little bit too much in the Phillipines,” Roach said. “He missed his job and it was direct competition with boxing, but once we got on a plane ride home he assured me that he would get back and get focused. As soon as we got back to LA, the real Manny Pacquiao came back. Manny worked really hard for this fight.”

As for Manny, he took the opportunity to defend himself saying, “There is no problem about my training camp. The first two weeks in our training camp we had a problem because we were trying to gain weight, but the problem is I can’t move and my body feels so heavy and my speed’s gone. So I decided to maintain at 148 pounds, 147 to focus on speed.”

So, you buying any of the talk that Manny Pacquiao is unfocused or unprepared for this fight? Is any of it possible, or is it just a trick by Roach to help hype the fight and generate more fan interest? Count Antonio Margarito’s trainer, Robert Garcia, as one who thinks Freddie Roach is full of it: “This is just the stuff Freddie says to mess with our minds or hype up the fight a little.”

Manny’s win over Joshua Clottey was such a one-way beating maybe the promoters feel they have to generate more buzz by suggesting the fight will be closer than people expect. Hey, all I know is they have me somewhat curious, so the strategy must have worked.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. Rips on Manny Pacquiao with Slurs

Whether it was his crew attending a cock fight or rocking a $50,000 iPod, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been making headlines here at LBS over the past week. This time around, it’s his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., getting his name in the news. As Out of Bounds shared with us, Mayweather Sr. had harsh words for boxer Manny Pacquiao while serving as a guest for the On The Ropes boxing podcast.

This isn’t the first time Mayweather Sr. has verbally bashed Pacquiao, but it’s certainly been the harshest expression. Mayweather Sr. not only called Pac Man a bitch, but he also used a slur for homosexuals to describe him. Here you can listen to a disheveled Mayweather Sr. rip on Pacquiao:

The biggest point Mayweather Sr. made is that Pacquiao is the one afraid of fighting, not the other way around. To me, it’s somewhere in between; Pacquiao is concerned about the drug testing while Floyd is not eager to make the fight happen. They each have reasons to be hesitant. Boxing fans just have to hope Pacquiao beats Antonio Margarito and the superfight goes down sometime next year.

Sources:
Floyd Sr. on Pacquiao: ‘He’s a fa****. Go stick your head under your dress’ [Out of Bounds]
On The Ropes Episode #82 [On The Ropes]

Manny Pacquiao Plans to Sue one Steroids Accuser but Fight Another

In one of the greatest paradoxes I’ve seen in sports, Manny Pacquiao and his camp are making making themselves look even worse for their recent decisions. The madness began a few days ago when the agreement between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to fight on March 13th began to fall through. Pacquiao began backing out of the fight because he didn’t want to submit to olympic-style drug testing. Manny’s promoter, Bob Arum, then went on a verbal assault trying to come up with every possible angle to spin the reason for why Pacquiao is backing out. Pacman is even going on the offensive now, saying he’s going to sue for defamation over the allegations. In the meantime (and this is my favorite part of the story), Arum says he’s in the process of arranging a fight with Paulie Malignaggi for the same March 13th date. This is the same Paulie Malignaggi who ALSO accused Pacquiao of using PEDs:

The level we have of testing in boxing is not really that deep. I mean, we have urine tests on the day of the fight and we don’t have much else…there’s things that don’t come up in drug tests. There’s ways to beat drug tests.

Manny Pacquiao is the first guy in history, and he might be the special thing that everybody says he is, he might be, the first guy in history to go up in weight and knock out more people as he goes up in weight than he did when he was smaller. He might be that special person. Me, I think that looks a little fishy. I think that’s a little bit fishy.

So let me get this straight, it’s fine to accuse Manny Pacquiao of using steroids or performance-enhancers so long as you don’t demand he submits to strict drug testing? Good, just wanted to make sure I had that straight. This should put an end to the debates about Pacquiao and Arum’s motive. Manny complaining that having his blood drawn will sap him of his power is like one of those people who claim they can levitate so long as nobody is watching. Uh huh. The onus is on Pacquiao here and he should submit to Olympic-style testing if he has nothing to hide. End of story.

If Manny Pacquiao Weren’t Guilty, He Wouldn’t Have Anything to Hide

Maybe things happened too quickly creating a “too good to be true” scenario in boxing. After all, organizing a fight and getting two high-profile individuals to agree to contract terms is one of the most complex processes in sports. Despite all that, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. supposedly had agreed to fight mid March in Las Vegas until a matter of drug testing came in the way.

Floyd’s father accused Pacquiao of using steroids and/or supplements in an interview a few months ago and it looks like he was right on. Mayweather’s camp wants both fighters to submit to Olympic-style WADA drug testing prior to the fight, which is more stringent than drug testing outlined by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Pacquiao only wants to submit to drug testing prior to the media kickoff tour of the fight and after the fight. It does not take a genius to figure out that the lapse between tests is plenty of time to do a cycle of drugs.

The excuses coming from Pacquiao’s side are pathetic. Trainer Freddie Roach says the request proves Mayweather is scared. Promoter Bob Arum says Floyd is just harassing Pacquiao because he knows Manny feels weakened by giving blood. There’s no doubt that Floyd recognizes the talent of Pacquiao and that he’s in danger of losing. Even with that being the case, there’s nothing wrong with requesting stringent drug testing for the fight. The retort by Arum is pathetic and offbase. It’s clear he’s just trying to spin the issue but he doesn’t have much ammunition in this argument. The undeniable bottom line is that Pacquiao would not have anything to hide if he weren’t doing anything wrong. What’s so hard about Manny agreeing to random drug tests during his training? There shouldn’t be anything wrong with it as far as I can tell. Maybe there’s a lot more to Pacquiao’s story that helps explain his late career surge.

Floyd Mayweather Jr: I have Nothing to Gain by Fighting Manny Pacquiao

After seeing Manny Pacquiao dismantle Miguel Cotto on Saturday night, I said that a Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight has to happen for the sake of boxing’s integrity. There’s only one fight left that makes sense for each fighter. One fight, and one fight only, and it’s between them. Unfortunately Pacquiao expressed no immediate interest in fighting Floyd, and Floyd has gone on record saying he doesn’t want to do business with Bob Arum (Manny’s promoter). Making matters worse is that Floyd told Sky News he feels like he has nothing to gain by fighting Pacquiao:

Floyd says that everyone wants to see him lose while Manny’s already lost three times therefore there’s no upside for him. While there’s no erasing Pacquiao’s three losses and Floyd’s undefeated record, there is a question as to who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and who the top welterweight is. Right now Pacman is on top of his game and considered to be every bit as good as Floyd. Because of that reason, Mayweather stands plenty to gain by fighting (and beating) Manny. The term “undisputed” champion is often used in boxing. Right now there’s a dispute that can only be settled in the ring. Floyd should recognize that and make this fight happen to boost his legacy. After that, beating Sugar Shane Mosley would just be icing on the cake of an unblemished career.

Manny Pacquiao Has No Immediate Plans to Fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The Manny Pacquiao/Miguel Cotto fight was shaping up to be an epic battle up until the 4th round when Manny caught Miguel with a right hand that sent him to the canvas for the second time in the fight. From that point on, it was pure dominance for the speedy, powerful Filipino. It got so bad that Cotto’s family had to leave the arena after the 9th round to avoid seeing Miguel get punished. The point is that Pacquiao proved he can step up in weight and not lose his quickness or power, making him one of the toughest fighters at 147. The other undisputed star at 147, and top pound for pound fighter in the world, is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since the two are now in the same weight class, there’s no doubt they should fight to satisfy once and for all who is the best fighter in the world. But as you can tell Pacquiao is in no hurry to schedule a fight with Floyd where the negotiations would feature several roadblocks. Just listen to the Manny Pacquiao/Miguel Cotto post fight interview and skip ahead to the 1:05 mark to hear if Pacquiao has Floyd in his plans:

By the way, would somebody please tell A.C. Slater to take his finger out of his ear. And would somebody tell Slater that English isn’t Pacman’s primary language so it’s probably not a good idea to ask him 30 second questions with lots of big words. The guy just went 12 rounds with Miguel Cotto … give him a break, A.C.!

Manny Pacquiao Completely Destroyed Ricky Hatton, Is the Fighter to Beat

It’s funny how much things change in a small amount of time. 18 months ago, Floyd Mayweather Jr. destroyed Ricky Hatton to cement his reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. At that point Manny Pacquiao was fighting at 130 lbs and wasn’t really on the radar (as far as being a contender). A year and a half later, Mayweather’s coming out of retirement (as I predicted), and Pacquiao’s the top fighter in the world coming off a win over Hatton. As for Ricky, well, nothing really changed for him — he still wound up laying on the canvas on top of the Rockstar logo, a loser in both bouts.

Manny really has proven to me that he has an excellent skill level in addition to his impressive punching power. This guy absolutely destroyed Hatton, to the point where I thought he broke Ricky’s jaw and inflicted serious long-term damage with the knockout blow. I’m not going to get carried away with his ability and tell you how great he is — go see his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez to see otherwise — but Pac Man has really has opened up many people’s eyes with his wins at the higher weight class. Manny proved that he has a lethal knockout punch and that great results can be achieved when you pair a diligent fighter with a smart trainer.

Back to Hatton, truth is he got exposed once again. The guy is nothing but a straight ahead puncher who fails to make in-fight adjustments (probably because he was able to beat up just about anyone he’d ever faced). Pacquiao and Freddie Roach devised a plan to exploit Ricky’s weakness (Hatton leaves himself open when he throws his left) and they executed perfectly. Retirement isn’t necessary, but mechanical adjustments and fighting lower-quality opponents is. And with the layoff, Mayweather has a lot to prove against Marquez before a fight with Pacquiao can be scheduled. (Even if that’s what we all want to see).