IT’S not Brandon Rios who worries trainer Freddie Roach more. It’s Manny Pacquiao himself.
Seeing how his prized boxer has been preparing at training camp in General Santos City the past two weeks for his comeback fight against Rios, the 53-year-old Roach can readily feel how badly Pacquaio wanted to win this one.
“My biggest concern is that Manny Pacquiao peaks too soon. He’s in great shape and could fight tomorrow,” said Roach through Pacquiao and Top Rank publicist Fred Sternburg during the Filipino ring icon’s media day Thursday for his Nov. 24 welterweight match with the American banger at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian in Macao.
That the eight-time world champion has been training like nuts is understandable.
Pacquiao is coming off the worst period of his Hall of Fame career following his back-to-back losses suffered at the hands of Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
The twin losses had many of the opinion the `Pacman’ is now on the downswing after being once universally recognized as the world’s top fighter, pound-for-pound.
But Roach, who’s been training the Filipino southpaw for 12 years now, doesn’t think so.
“Manny Pacquiao is working harder than I have ever seen him,” said Roach. “The fight on Nov. 23 (Nov. 24, Manila time) will be hellacious.”
Pacquiao himself vows to redeem himself back, especially following his stunning sixth round knockout against Marquez in his last fight.
“I’m going to do my best to put my name back on the top of boxing. I’m very excited,” he told members of the media, including those who came from mainland China, Macao as the Pacquiao-Rios undercard will have two-time Chinese Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming fighting in an eight-round flyweight match against unbeaten Mexican Juan `Pollo’ Toscano.