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Roach's Instruction To Pacquiao?Attack Immediately.
Roach's instruction to Pacquiao? Attack immediately
11/26/2008 | 07:16 PM
MANILA, Philippines - To millions around the world expected to be glued in for the welterweight showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya on December 7 (December 6, Las Vegas time), celebrated trainer Freddie Roach has one piece of advice.
Roach vowed to bring the fight an opponent bigger and stronger than Pacquiao in what could be an explosive, fast-paced action right from the get-go.
The plan Roach hatched ran in contrast to the perception that Pacquiao would avoid de la Hoya in the early goings of the 12-rounder, thought to be de la Hoya's comfort zone.
"A lot of people say that if Manny gets past four rounds, he'll be okay. I don't think so," Roach said as he was about to call it a day on Tuesday at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.
"I talked to Manny while doing the mitts and told him that when the first round comes, I want you to go out there and let him know that this is a [expletive] fight right away,'" Roach said.
"If you give Oscar the momentum, he'll grow. But he's a very skittish person. If you take it on him right away, I think he'll fold. I really do," he added.
The two-time Trainer of the Year noted de la Hoya's tendency to fade as the fight progressed, much like the way he did when he lost by a split decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007, the time Roach was in de la Hoya's corner.
Roach said he doesn't know what else de la Hoya would do when Pacquiao pressures him beginning the opening round.
"Manny Pacquiao goes out there and makes a fast-paced fight which Oscar is not used to," he said.
De la Hoya's inactivity the past years could also take a toll on him, Roach guessed.
While Pacquaio has fought four times in a year's span against quality opponents from Marco Antonio Barrera to Juan Manuel Marquez, de la Hoya has climbed the ring only four times in the last four years.
The last of those four fights was not even a competitive one, a decision win over former Contender finalist Steve Forbes in early May this year.
"Activity is very crucial in this game. You can't be sharp fighting every other year," Roach said in between exclusive interview done by leading French national sports daily L'Equipe. "Steve Forbes has the mentality of a sparring partner, but he did well in that fight."
And to stress how confident he is of a Pacquiao victory 10 days from now, the American trainer said retirement beckons for de la Hoya after the card dubbed The Dream Match.
"I think this is Oscar's last fight because you're knocked out by Pacquiao, then it's over," he said, adding his desire to meet former welterweight champion Ricky Hatton of England next.
Earlier, Pacquiao did 10 rounds of sparring, while training camp for the de la Hoya bout tapers down entering the final phase of a long two-month preparation.
The Filipino southpaw currently weighs 151 pounds, with only five-percent body fat.
Roach has enlisted the services of new sparring partner Michael Dallas to complement regulars Rashad Holloway and Marvin Cordova.
By fight time, Roach bared Pacquiao could have finished a total of 154 rounds of sparring, the most he has made since first fighting in the US in 2001.
"We're there. Sparring partners are working out very well. Manny is dominating them when he wants to and he's playing sometimes when he wants to," Roach said. "Overall, I'm really happy where he is right now." - GMANews.
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