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    Roach impressed with Pacquiao speed despite long layoff

    Jul 7, 2021
    PHOTO: Jhay Otamias

    TWO years away from the ring yet Manny Pacquiao hasn’t slowed down a bit.

    The 42-year-old legend received more than just a passing mark from trainer Freddie Roach as he hit training camp six weeks prior to his August 21 title fight against undefeated American Errol Spence at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    Roach, 61, remains impressed with the Pacman despite being out of boxing since 2019 when he scored a split decision against previously unbeaten Keith Thurman to wrest the WBA (World Boxing Association) welterweight crown.

    “He was incredibly sharp for his first day. He hit hard with good power,” said Roach.

    “I’m still amazed at the great condition he’s in when he comes to training camp.”

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      And considering Pacquiao reported at the Wild Card gym just a day upon arriving from Manila made the Hall of Fame trainer all the more overwhelmed about doing the training camp amid the pandemic.

      Continue reading below ↓

      “He put in a full day here – mitts, speed bag, shadow boxing – the works,” added Roach, who had to endure once more the power of Pacquiao after doing nine rounds with the mitts during the training that lasted almost three hours.

      “If this is how Manny hits with jet lag, I may need to get new gloves with thicker padding for our next sessions,” Roach said.

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      Pacquiao shows fine form early in training camp

      Amid all talk about Pacquiao already too slow and too old to face some of the top fighters in the welterweight division today, the boxing great quashed speculations with the way he put in the work on the very first day of training camp.

      And Roach could attest to that.

      “The best part was at the end (of training) when he lifted his shirt to show me his six pack and said, ‘Freddie I’m still here.’"

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      PHOTO: Jhay Otamias
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