Roach: Amidst Tragedy, Pacquiao Even More Focused


With just 10 days to go before the showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, the anticipation to the fight is growing. With Rios already in China and Pacquiao in the Philippines and heading to China next week, the clash is near. With training camp winding down, Roach is confident with Pacquiao and his return from a one punch knockout last December.

“Training camp was great, we have 2 days of sparring left, I believe we have the right game plan down, and come a couple days from now, I believe it’s going to be a great day for the Philippines,” Roach said on a media conference call this morning.

Great day for the a country which is in need of one after having gone through a massive typhoon just days ago where it has already been reported that more than 10,000 people are dead. Pacquiao who not only is a hero in the country, but is also a congressman in the country dealing with the tragedy. With such a big fight in the coming days, one must wonder how the Filipino star is dealing with the tragedy in his country and how his focus,  if at all was deterred by the typhoon.

Roach explained,” He’s more focused than ever, I gave him the day off today so he can go home and relax. I know the tragedy is on his mind so I wanted him to do what he could before we left to China. This fight is even more important to him now, not only to win impressively but to uplift his countrymen.”

After back to back losses, the feeling is that Pacquiao has lost a step and will never be the same after his one punch knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez and the knockout may still be waning on Pacquiao’s mind.

Roach however says Manny feels otherwise.

“The KO doesn’t bother him. He has put it behind him. Manny knows knockouts are a part of the sport and he’s even said if you don’t think you could get knocked out, you should get out of the sport.”

Roach also has no doubt in his mind, had Manny not jumped in like he did, the outcome of the fight would be very different.

“He (Pacquiao) was fighting one of the best fights in a while. He stepped into the wrong punch at the wrong time. Marquez is also a great fighter, it happens. If he waited one more second, there no doubt in my mind we would have stopped Marquez in the next round,” explained Roach.

There are some that say that Rios is tailor made for Pacquiao. Then there is the other school of thinking that if Pacquiao hasn’t recovered from the knock out, Rios is the wrong guy to come back to. Roach feels that Manny will look impressive in stopping Rios.

“Sure, Rios is a tough guy but tough guys don’t win fights, good boxers do. We need to be impressive in this fight and Manny knows it. Rios is also coming off a loss, so he wants to be impressive, Manny can outbox him and I think we’ll stop him after six,” stated Roach.

Roach acknowledges that Pacquiao can’t just win this fight but has to do so impressively. Should he not look impressive and worst case scenario lose, Roach feels the great run of Manny Pacquiao may be finished.

“If he doesn’t win this fight then yes, we may have to talk about retirement. Depending on how the fight went and how he loses, yes, we’d have a long discussion about it.”

Seems like Pacquiao-Rios has a lot riding on the outcome; an up lifting of a country, the career of a fighter of the decade, and a possible rise to super stardom for a young exciting fighter. As Live Schreiber would say, “the fight is less than two weeks away.”