LOS ANGELES – The long years of waiting for the Floyd Mayweather fight appears to be bringing the best out of Manny Pacquiao, so much so that he’s been hurting Freddie Roach a lot in training.
That was the case on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) when Roach absorbed what he considers the ‘hardest shot in my life’ while he and Pacquiao did the mitts for six rounds as training camp starts to taper off at the Wild Card gym.
Asked about it, Pacquiao made no effort to deny the power in his punches.
“Yeah,” he said when asked about the pain he inflicted on his longtime trainer, although he stopped short of giving out more details. “I have no comment on that.”
Leave it up to the 55-year-old Roach to supply the rest of the details of the story. Despite being stung by the sharp pain, the American trainer said he was really very happy to see Pacquiao throw a punch that powerful.
“He hit me maybe with the hardest shot I ever had in my life,” said Roach, a seven-time Trainer of the Year.
“It still hurts but that’s what I asked for. That’s what I want. I don’t want him to hold back,” he added. “I’m happy he’s more natural and will let his punch go just like it will in the fight.”
And while Pacquiao’s punches did hurt him, Roach quickly played down the possibility of the fight ending in a knockout loss for Mayweather.
He said the Filipino boxing great has not knocked out a natural welterweight and he doesn't expect him to start with Mayweather, who’s bigger, has a wider reach, and is expected to come into the fight a lot heavier than Pacquiao.
“We haven’t knocked out any welterweight before so this fight might probably go the distance,” said Roach, who expects Mayweather to come in at 160 lbs by fight night.
“I’m not predicting a knockout in this one but we will outscore him and that’s what I plan to do.”