Manny Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach claims reformed ‘Pacman’ has raised game
Manny Pacquaio's rivals have been warned - the eight-division world champion is better than ever ahead of his return to the ring next month.
At least that’s the view of revered trainer Freddie Roach, who insists the Filipino fury has become a much more disciplined boxer since kicking his gambling and nightclubbing habits.
And the catalyst to the turnaround seems to be last November’s controversial victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, when Pacquiao narrowly retained his WBO welterweight title with a highly questionable majority decision.
The super southpaw seemed to get a wake-up call back then, though, and has turned to increased time with his family and the bible, with Roach delivering a knockout blow to Timothy Bradley that his man is ready to silence his critics when the two brawlers step inside the ropes in Las Vegas on June 9.
“Basically all those distractions caught up with us in that last fight,” Roach said.
“In the end, we had a bad night - our first bad night in 10 years - and it was time for a change otherwise his career was going to be over. So he made those choices and to me they are all very good choices.
“Manny has got rid of a lot of distractions in his life and he has some new distractions that are a lot better than the old ones. The news ones are a lot of bible study and a lot of praying, and those are not so strenuous a task.
“He gave his nightclub away, he gave his casino away, he doesn’t gamble any more and he doesn’t drink any more. He and his wife are together all the time now and they are very happy together.
“Before, he had a ton of distractions that were mentally very taxing. Now he is just praying, he’s gone back to the bible and it’s working out very well for him. He seems like a happier and nicer person.”
‘Pacman’, winner of world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions and widely considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, said his decision to ‘clean up’ his lifestyle had been an easy one to make.
“I just want to focus on my career, on praying and follow the commandments of God,” the 33-year-old said.
“No more gambling, no more drinking. Reading the bible is to know the bible, and I believe that the bible is the manual for life.”
Pacquiao returned to training in LA this week to put in the hard graft before the showdown with undefeated junior welterweight champion Bradley.
“Bradley will come after us and I think he will be overwhelmed by Manny’s speed and power,” Roach added.
“But he has a good chin and he’s a very tough guy. He’s very disciplined and his work ethic is really, really good. It’s going to be a great fight as long as it lasts.”