LAS VEGAS – Trainer Freddie Roach will personally help a tentative Manny Pacquiao decide whether to finally walk away from boxing or not after his third meeting with Tim Bradley on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
The 56-year-old Roach said the Filipino southpaw's performance against Bradley in their welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand is definitely going to be the gauge on what the future holds for Pacquiao.
And the seven-time Trainer of the Year stressed he’ll never hesitate to personally tell his most prized boxer to hang up his gloves if he doesn’t live up to expectations.
“If he does not look good in this one, it might be time to retire,” said Roach shortly after presiding over Pacquiao’s final training session at the Wild Card on Monday back in Los Angeles.
“If he does not look good in this fight and we don’t win the fight, I’ll probably ask him to retire, yes.”
Initially, Pacquiao, 37, said the third fight with Bradley will be the last of his career, but has sounded uncertain about his decision of late.
While the Filipino punching machine has been giving away some signs that this could be the last one, Roach said he doesn’t see anything that will convince him it’s going to be Pacquiao’s farewell tour.
“He looked good in training camp so I didn’t see any flaws or slowing down at all,” said the man who has been Pacquiao’s trainer since he first set foot in the U.S. in 2001.
Added Roach, “I haven’t talked to Manny much about it. He does tell me it’s his last fight, but he does it with a smile. But we’ll see.”
The significant thing for Team Pacquiao right now, according to the veteran trainer, is to win over Bradley again.
“I’m not normally thinking about it as a last fight. I’m thinking about winning this one,” he said. “It’s very important that we win this fight. I told Manny that if we go out, we go out with a bang and he’s all for it.”