Thursday, April 5, 2012

Roach Happy Over Pacman's Transformation

source: Nick Giongco | The Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Renowned trainer Freddie Roach is not at all worried with Manny Pacquiao’s extraordinary devotion to his new-found calling as a Bible ambassador.

“Religion doesn’t bother me,” Roach told the Bulletin on Wednesday afternoon a few hours after arriving in the country from the US to supervise the first phase of Pacquiao’s training for the June 9 encounter with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Roach said Pacquiao’s religious transformation “has more plus than minuses” as the 52-year-old tactician looks forward to the start of their three-week camp in Baguio City beginning April 16.

Pacquiao said he has renounced all his vices and extra-curricular activities and is now more inclined to quoting verses and preaching the gospel. Before finding solace in the Bible, Pacquiao admitted to have heavily engaged himself in the worldly ways.

Roach, who has been calling the shots in Pacquiao’s corner since 2001, is extremely delighted.

“Manny’s going to be much more focused this time,” said Roach, who will momentarily train British star Amir Khan while waiting for the go-signal to head up to the City of Pines.

Roach said Pacquiao needs to be in razor-sharp form to repulse the challenge of the unbeaten Bradley, whom Roach said is “a very physical guy.”

“Bradley fights with his head and elbows so we have to be careful. He will do everything to win.”

Roach said he has inked three sparmates who resemble the fighting style and physical attributes of Bradley but only one of them will be brought in to the country “because I need just one guy here while the two others will be used when we get to the Wild Card.”

A Russian puncher is awaiting a call from Roach and he will immediately fly to Manila from Moscow once he gets the green light.

“They all fight like Bradley and they are all short (like Bradley),” said Roach, who doesn’t remember the name of the Russian fighter but could very well be referring to Ruslan Provodnikov, a 28-year-old right-hander who has a 21-1 record with 14 knockouts.