ABOUT two weeks into his world welterweight title fight against Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao is knocking down his sparring partners in training camp at the Wild Card gym.
Trainer Freddie Roach disclosed how the 42-year-old Filipino boxing great sent down on the canvass his younger sparmates as training for Pacquiao’s August 21 showdown with the unbeaten Spence heads down to its final two weeks.
“He had probably his best sparring (on Tuesday). We went 10 rounds and he got two knockdowns,” Roach told members of the press who visited the famed Hollywood sweatshop during the scheduled media workout of Pacquiao on Thursday (Manila time).
“It was the old Manny Pacquiao from 10 years ago,” added the Hall of Fame trainer. “He’s not as big of a puncher usually at welterweight, but those knockdowns were a great boost for him.”
Roach didn’t mention who among the sparring partners of the eight-division champion went down but Maurice Lee and Alexis Rocha have been the ones tapped to help prepare Pacquiao for his fight against the reigning two-belt world titleholder.
But the 61-year-old trainer is not saying it’s going to be a cruise for the Pacman.
“Spence is a good boxer, but he’s a very good puncher,” said Roach. “We know that when we get inside. We have to be smart getting back outside. It has to be quick combinations and then out right away.”
But should the opportunity to score a knockdown comes, Roach would want the legendary fighter to take it right away in the same manner he did in beating Keith Thurman to win the WBA (World Boxing Association) welterweight belt during his last fight two years ago.
Pacquiao sent Thurman on the seat of his pants in the opening round to score a split decision.
“I told Manny that knocking down Keith Thurman early gave him a lot of momentum in that fight,” said Roach. “I’d like to see that again in this fight. He knows that he has to use his speed to do that. He understands completely what I want.”
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