TRAINER Freddie Roach knows that Manny Pacquiao’s boxing career will draw to an end soon. But just not yet.
He is convinced that “Pacman” can continue to compete with the best and that his fight against significant underdog Jeff Horn in July will prove the level where Manny belongs.
“I would say maybe at some point soon [Pacquiao will retire]. He’s still really looked good in his last fights, he’s Manny Pacquiao, he’s got a mean streak in him. I don’t think that’s gone away,” Roach told Boxing News. “When he runs for president then he’ll give up!
“When he’s done he will retire and I will be the first one to let him know.”
He believes Pacquiao will have two or even three fights this year. “Two to three fights. The schedule is tight and it’s not easy. He’s a senator now and the hours are quite different. So sometimes he will start at three in the afternoon and sometimes 10 o’clock at night. But regardless of what time he gets out we work every day. He’s very dedicated. He still loves what he does best,” the trainer said.
While Pacquiao is universally expected to brush Jeff Horn aside when they fight in Australia in July, Roach will be monitoring Manny’s performance closely. That will dictate where Pacquiao goes next. “He is a good test for us to see where we’re at at this point. If we do or don’t continue, how much is being a senator [affecting] training for Manny Pacquiao. The camp went really well when he was a congressman. Congressman is not quite as demanding as a senator. That remains to be seen,” Freddie said. “I fly out to the Philippines and we’re going to have a camp in Manila, then we’ll go to Australia seven to 10 days before the fight. He’s got a fight coming up with maybe a little bit of a no name guy, nobody really knows who is but he’s won his last two fights by knockout, he’s a big puncher, a little bit dangerous. Manny should handle him and then after that we’re talking about hopefully Mikey Garcia or hopefully one of those guys out there that’s calling Manny out now.”
As well as Garcia, Roach sees Amir Khan and Terence Crawford as potential opponents after Jeff Horn. “Amir Khan’s out there, Mikey Garcia’s out there, he’s making a little bit of noise. Then you’ve got a kid from Nebraska [Crawford], who looks good, a very good boxer, a difficult fight for anybody out there. Then there’s definitely some very good talent in that weight division. I don’t want Manny just hanging out and picking up the scraps like that, we’re going to continue to fight, we’re going to continue to fight at a very high level. We’ll fight those guys whether it’s Crawford or whoever it may be, Amir Khan, we welcome anybody. But the thing is, the Amir Khan negotiations in Dubai, in Dubai they never seem to go well. I’ve been hearing about fighting in Dubai for about 30 years now! Someone’s losing money somewhere,” he reflected.
The schedule is punishing enough for Freddie himself. Busy with elite fighters, he’s in England at the moment with new charge Scott Quigg, but he’ll need to take a break at some point to have his own wear and tear seen to. “I love working. It’s so good for me. Unfortunately somewhere along the line I’m going to have five days off for back surgery. My back’s killing me! I’ve been putting it off for three years, trying to get by, trying to do exercises but it’s just not working so I do have to have back surgery and see my surgeon,” he says. “He said you walk in, you walk out, in five days you go back to work. I love that schedule… I don’t have any time to waste.”