MACAU – Longing to see the old, destructive Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach went a little old school in training camp and adopted a practice long been abandoned by both fighter and trainer.
Roach had Pacquiao do a lot of heavy bag workout this time in a bid to add more power to the punches of the world welterweight champion and, hopefully, lead to a knockout that had not come the Filipino hero's way since his 12-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto in 2009.
The 54-year-old trainer himself can’t even remember when was the last time the Filipino ring great did the heavy bag as part of his routine in training camp while preparing for a bout.
“It’s been a while,” said the five-time Trainer of the Year.
“We’re lacking in power,” admitted Roach on Tuesday just before Pacquiao's regular workout for his title match against Chris Algieri for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship.
“I don’t think he lost power because he hits me everyday, and he f*ing hurts me everyday. But the thing is, he don’t do that in the ring. So we do a lot of heavy bag this time and brought it back in the camp and it worked really well,” he said.
Tall sparmate Stan Martyniouk was the recipient of Pacquiao’s added power just two weeks ago in the camp as the 5-foot-10 American – of the same height as Algieri – went down following a left straight courtesy of the eight-time world division champion.
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) has not won by knockout in the last five years, Cotto being the last man he stopped by the Pacman inside the ring.
“He wants to get back and look good and get to where he once was,” said Roach of Pacquiao’s extra motivation in working hard in what he describes as the most intense training he ever had in a long while.
Everybody will know by Sunday if the old Pacquiao is finally back.