Freddie Roach with Manny Pacquiao. (Agence France-Presse)
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Seven-division champ Manny Pacquiao has denied he sustained a serious leg injury while preparing for his welterweight title defense against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.
Pacquiao, who is known to undergo brutal training when preparing for a fight, dismissed the “slight pain” as a mere sore muscle in his leg.
"Wala namang injury, sore lang ang muscle kasi," he said.
Pacquiao said they made changes on their strategy to pick on Clottey's defense.
"Binago namin [ang strategy] para ma-apply namin sa fight. 'Yung mga muscles [tuloy] na hindi nagagalaw medyo sumakit," he explained.
The Pacman, who will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Clottey on March 13, hosted his final press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday as his training camp began to wind down.
Pacquiao showed off his footwork, showing no signs of the reported leg injury.
"It was just shin splints. It's not really an injury. It's more of a nuisance,” said 4-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao has already faced 10 sparring partners in the course of his 7-week training. He domindated most of them.
"Right now 100% conditioned na tayo, ready na tayo sa fight. Maintain na lang sa kondisyon," he said.
The Filipino champ is the overwhelming favorite against Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion. The fight will take place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Texas.
He said he and Pacquiao have been studying Clottey’s tapes to spot his strengths and weaknesses. They have also been working on moves.
“He (Clottey) fights people with different styles, of course. But his habits are there and we can take advantage,” Roach told Fox Sports.
Roach said the only thing his fighter needs to be concerned about is the Ghanaian’s uppercuts. With a report from Joseph Pimentel, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau; and Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News