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Friday, February 19, 2010

Freddie Roach: 'This could be our last fight'

This past week’s edition of On the Ropes featured exclusive interviews with Freddie Roach, David Diaz, and Fres Oquendo. Highlighting this episode was a nice conversation with world class trainer Freddie Roach—current trainer of pound-for-pound King, Manny Pacquiao. Here are some excerpts from Roach:

Regarding Pacquiao’s preparations for Joshua Clottey:
“He’s doing great. He’s in great shape already. His weight’s already—well he came in on weight when he came in on his first day, but we’re trying to keep the weight on him with the protein shakes and feeding him five times a day, but he sparred eight rounds yesterday. He’s looking to get the game plan down and he looks great.”

On whether he thinks Clottey’s weight will be an issue:
“No. He has no problem with the weight. At the weigh-in, they both have to weigh 147 pounds.”

His proudest moment as a trainer:
“I’ve had a lot of good fighters and a lot of good wins and stuff like that, but I guess the one that sticks out in my mind the most is the Erik Morales rematch because that was when I had to prove that Manny was better than just a left-handed puncher.”

His thoughts on the upcoming mega bout between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather:
“I think it’s a great fight. Shane’s been after that fight for a long time, but I do feel that Mayweather will win the fight. Shane’s my friend and when I can’t bet with my heart I bet with skills, and I think Shane does well with Mexican type of style fighters because that’s what he grew up with in L.A. and guys that come forward he does very well with, but he does have trouble with speed and he has trouble with people who move like Mayweather and I think Mayweather will outscore him. It’s a very competitive fight, and it’s great to see that fight happening and hopefully the winner of this fight will fight the winner of Pacuqio-Clottey. It would be a great match-up.”

On how many more fights he expects Pacquiao to have:
“Well if Mayweather doesn’t come around after this fight and sign to fight us, this could be our last one.”

His final prediction for Pacquiao versus Clottey:
“Well Clottey, obviously, we’re going to have to break him down and it will be in the late, late rounds and I’m just going to be the under that it won’t go twelve rounds. I really don’t have a number in mind, because I think we will get him somewhere along the way, but it’s going to be a battle up until that point, though. I do think with the body shots and the work rate that we have, I don’t think Clottey will keep up with us so a late round knockout I would say.”


We also had a good discussion with former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz. Diaz is scheduled to face Humberto Soto for the vacant lightweight belt he once held on the Pacquiao-Clottey under card. Here some quotes from David Diaz:

Regarding his upcoming fight with Humberto Soto for the vacant WBC lightweight title:
“The good thing about Humberto is that he likes to fight. He’ll square off even if the guy is a lot stronger like I am than him and he’ll be willing to trade, and that’s where I think we’ll be able to try to win the fight if we can.”

Regarding his majority decision victory in his last fight against Jesus Chavez:
“Well, we did okay. We actually wanted to do a little bit better but the ring rust showed. I was wild with my punches and we were basically trying to hit each other very hard—knock our heads off like he said. That was just one of the things that I think now, I’m more controlled as I’ve been doing it and sparring and working better on technique and hopefully I can show that to the public on March 13.”

On his experience in fighting Manny Pacquiao:
“Well, what I saw in him night was a fast little guy, you know—thinking he was little. He was extremely fast, someone I had never encountered any speed like that before, and I think I’ve fought pretty fast guys. He just connected the right punch and caught me, with a nice left hand I believe it was, and I went down.”

His opinion on what Manny Pacquiao has accomplished since fighting him:
“Like, wow! I’m just in amazement of what he is doing. The good thing about is that I have fought him pretty tough until I unfortunately got stopped, compared to (Oscar) De La Hoya, (Ricky) Hatton, and (Miguel) Cotto. And I guess I take a little bit of pride in saying that I was sort of in the fight while it lasted.”

On whether he believed Pacquiao is using performance-enhancing drugs:
“I really don’t think so. I mean if people are wondering about the weight and all that stuff, I’ve been Philippines—they feed their people like five times a day. So to put on the weight, I don’t think it’s a big deal. In the sense of him being fast and all, he’s always had that so I really don’t think so. I’d like to think at least, that I lost to the greatest fighter right now in our sport, so I don’t think he is doing any stuff like that—and plus, he’s a very religious person, a God-fearing person, so I really don’t think he’s subject himself to that or else he’d be called a hypocrite.”

On his victory over Erik “El Terrible” Morales:
“Well for me, it was a dream come true that night in August because I’ve always wanted to fight for a title here in Chicago and have the people that always supported me watch me try to win a belt. And to defend my title against a legend like Erik Morales—you couldn’t have dreamt up better. And the outcome, the fight was a tough fight. Yeah, close, but it was still a tough fight and I felt I won and it was just a great feeling to be in there with a legend.”

Author: Geoffrey Ciani

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