By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is concerned about the tiredness of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who looked sluggish in sparring with unbeaten Jose Ramirez at the Elorde Gym at the Mall of Asia complex on Thursday - when the two boxers traded punches for six rounds.
Pacquiao looked fatigued and listless but worked hard on the punch-mitts, heavy bag and shadow boxing after the sparring.
Ramirez told us Manny appeared tired and taut while he himself was getting better as the jet-lag which bothered him in his first sparring session with Pacquiao last Tuesday, began to wear off.
Roach told BoxingScene.com/The Manila Standard in an exclusive interview that “it was not such a happy day” compared to what Manny showed in his first sparring session against Ramirez last Monday.
Roach told us “I think he is getting a little tired. He looked a little flat. The work in the Senate is starting to get to him so we’ll have to re-arrange his schedule a bit and give him two days off a week instead of one,” recalling he did the same thing in Manny’s preparation for the Miguel Cotto fight which he won by a 12th round TKO and “it made a big difference.”
Roach said Manny “is getting a little bit older” and giving him off on Wednesdays and Sundays would make a difference “because of the stuff he’s doing” in the Senate.
He noted that Pacquiao was at his best in h is first sparring session with Ramirez over six rounds when he was “at his best and I told Manny why can’t you give me that every day. If you show me that, fight like that, nobody in the world can beat you.”
Roach noted that Ramirez is improving daily as the jet-lag wears off and said Ramirez whom is his fighter with a record of 18-0 “is enough and would bring Manny to the best fighter of old so it can’t hurt.”
He said Pacquiao did ten furious rounds on the mitts on Wednesday and we now “have to give and take a little.”