MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach believes the excruciating knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez worked in the Filipino boxer’s favor as he became a matured fighter in the ring.
Marquez went up against Pacquiao on four different occasions, with the first three matches concluding in controversial fashion.
However, the outcome was different in their December 2012 fourth clash as Marquez connected a short right with just a second to go in the sixth round, knocking his arch-nemesis out cold.
During Pacquiao’s media workout on Thursday, April 16, Roach stressed that the painful setback served as a tough lesson for his valued pupil, whom he started to train for his first bout on United States soil in June 2001 when the Pinoy pugilist captured the IBF super bantamweight belt against Lehlo Ledwaba.
“Definitely, true. It helped us a lot. He knows when you make a mistake, you pay for it,” he said.
In addition, the 7-time BWAA “Trainer of the Year” awardee pointed out that the knockout defeat to Marquez would not affect Pacquiao’s performance versus Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) as he nearly shut out all of his recent foes.
“Manny is a realist. He accepts it. It doesn’t bother him at all, but he won’t make that same mistake again. We did learn something from that fight. We learn more in losses than wins. Mayweather hasn’t lost yet, so he hasn’t learned anything,” Roach shared.
According to Roach, Pacquiao’s busy pace would play a pivotal factor against an intelligent defensive fighter like Mayweather.
Pacquiao’s signature speed was one of his key traits that enabled him to bag 12 world titles in eight different weight classes.
“I don’t think Mayweather could handle his hand speed and foot speed. It is easy to watch on TV and say he’s fast. When you’re in the ring with him and he is moving like that, it is really hard to know when he’s coming or not coming,” Roach pointed out.
Although Roach lauded Mayweather’s distinctive brand of defensive guile, he asserted that the unbeaten American fighter had slowed down and taken a lot punches in his last two outings against Marcos Maidana.
“He is very defensive. He is very hard to hit. But his legs are giving out on him a little bit because of age,” he stated.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Roach remains optimistic that Pacquiao could get the job done.
“I really believe in my fighter. I believe we can outpoint this guy. If a knockout comes, it will be a bonus. But of course, we’re going there and win every round,” he ended. – Rappler.com
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