by David P. Greisman
Freddie Roach does not think the cramps that Manny Pacquiao has complained about following recent bouts will recur in his upcoming fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
“We've never had cramp problems in the gym, just when the fights start,” the Hall of Fame trainer said Friday during an ESPN.com chat. “He said he has a handle with it. We haven't had any problems at all yet, and I don't think there will be.”
Ever since this fight was signed, Roach has emphasized the need for Pacquiao to perform differently than he did with his controversial decision victory in his previous fight with Marquez and differently than he did in his controversial decision loss against Timothy Bradley earlier this year.
“The thing about this fight is we need a KO to win,” Roach wrote. He said Pacquiao will need to “try quicker,” and if he hurts Marquez, “put the pressure on him. Don’t pull up and lay off him.”
Roach said the most success Pacquiao had with Marquez in the past “was attacking him with fast combinations.
“I’m trying to get Manny to get that fire back,” the trainer wrote, saying he’s told Pacquiao that he will get $1,000 if he knocks Roach down while they’re working on the mitts during training camp.
Meanwhile, Roach also says he plans to tune out one distraction from Pacquiao on fight night — a basketball game.
Pacquiao had reportedly been watching an NBA playoff game involving the Boston Celtics while in his room before June’s bout with Bradley. In Friday’s chat, Roach was informed by a question in Friday’s chat that the Celtics have a game that evening.
“I'm not his babysitter, so he'll make that decision,” Roach wrote. “I will be against it. I will ask the venue to not have TVs in the locker room. Thanks for the tip.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at email@example.com