MANILA, Philippines – Acclaimed trainer Freddie Roach admitted that boxer-congressman Manny Pacquiao is not yet in tip-top shape, two weeks after they kicked off their Baguio City training camp.
“The direction I want him to move is a little better. The stuff we were doing yesterday came through today. He’s not 100 percent; we still have a long way to go,” Roach told Ted Lerner of Ring Magazine.
But he commended his prized fighter, saying that his timing was a little better.
“We’re just beginning to get the game plan down and get the timing and so forth. He did what I wanted him to do a couple of times. It’s a work in progress,” he added.
The four-time Trainer of the Year also mentioned that it is normal for Pacquiao not to be in superb form at this point.
“If that Manny Pacquiao went into a fight, we’d probably lose. But that’s why we have an eight-week training camp, so we can improve. You can’t expect too much out of a guy who hasn’t been in the ring since last March,” noted Roach.
Pacquiao defeated Ghanaian Joshua Clottey last March 13 by unanimous decision at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
He will return to the $1.2-billion stadium on November 13 for his World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title clash against Mexican Antonio Margarito. The WBC title at stake is vacant.
Pacquiao, a Fighter of the Decade and three-time Fighter of the Year, has 51 wins (with 38 knockouts), 3 losses and 2 draws.
Three-time world champion Margarito has 38 wins (with 27 knockouts), 6 losses and 1 no contest. – With a report from Ring Magazine