Roach: Pacquiao the best I’ve seen in a long time – messed my shoulder up on mitts

Mikey Williams

Trainer Freddie Roach says Manny Pacquiao is firing on all cylinders ahead of his WBO welterweight title challenge against Jessie Vargas on November 5.

The 37 year-old eight weight world champion is on the comeback trail following a brief retirement and Roach is confident Pacquiao will prove he can still compete at the top following a standout camp in recent weeks.

“He has been very aggressive in his sparring – throwing combinations and he seems to be getting back to the old Manny – really quick combinations, in and out, flurries and very hard punching,” said Roach.

“He has been hurting me while on the mitts. My shoulder is a little messed up. Buboy’s hand and shoulders are messed up. We’ll hang in there … but holding the mitts for Manny is not the most fun thing in the world to do – it’s hard, hard work.

“If he carries that over into the fight I think he will knock somebody out. He hasn’t knocked out any 147-poundersin awhile but again they are much bigger guys and they can take better shots, but I feel that with the combinations and the way he has been training he has been very close to knocking guys out in the gym and so forth. I am very impressed with him in the gym workouts so far.

“It was a pretty tough schedule in this camp but he held up really well. The sparring days were really good and it’s the best I’ve seen Manny in a long time – he is a lot more aggressive than I have seen him in the past and there was a lot of the old Manny Pacquiao coming out and he really, really looked good.

“We trained right up until Saturday morning before our flight out to Los Angeles and he boxed 10 rounds and he looked great and he’s in great shape, I know it’s been a very difficult camp with the Senate and so forth. Manny has always been a busy person but because of the Senate he seems to be a lot more serious than anything else he has done. He is in Senate sessions on some nights until 7:30 or 8:00 at night and when he is done we go right to the gym.”

On Pacquiao’s last victory over Timothy Bradley in April, Roach added: “I thought it was a good performance I thought he fought very well. He was accurate a lot more than usual.

“In this training camp he has been using his speed and his combinations, not just single-punching and he has looked very good and it is probably the best training camp he has had in a long time.

“I look forward to Manny fighting in this style,” he added.