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Monday, March 8, 2010

Roach now says Pacman will stop Clottey early

Convinced Manny Pacquiao is in the best shape of his fighting career, Freddie Roach is departing from his earlier prediction of a ninth-round knockout against Joshua Clottey in their title fight this Sunday (Manila time).

Yes, the 12-round bout won’t still go the distance.

But instead of later rounds, the knockout may come much earlier.

“He’s (Clottey) a tough guy, but he’s not gonna last 6-7 rounds. He’s going to be overwhelmed with the punches," Roach said at the end of their second to the last training day at the Wildcard gym before departing for Arlington Texas, site of the match dubbed “The Event."

Boxing’s current best trainer was impressed with the way the ring icon from the Philippines sparred for six rounds Saturday that he declared "it’s the best I’ve ever seen Manny Pacquiao."

“Manny looked very, very sharp today. I’ve never seen him sharper."

The 50-year-old disciple of the late great trainer Eddie Futch stressed they intend to have a fast start the moment the first bell rings.

“We’re gonna throw him off in the first four rounds. He has never been attacked like this before," Roach said.

Pacquiao did exactly that in sparring, swarming on both David Rodela and Abdullay Amidu, who traded bombs with the Pacman for three rounds each.

So focused was the pound-for-pound king that he once again bloodied the nose of Rodela, who looked to be on the verge of getting knocked down.

“I thought he’s gonna knock down David out for a minute, but David hang in there," Roach said.

Pacquiao is set to spar four more rounds with old reliable Rey Beltran on Monday morning, bringing to a total of 142 the rounds the boxing icon did in seven weeks of training camp.

Later in the afternoon, a chartered flight will bring Pacquiao and his entourage, numbering to about 150, to Dallas, Texas, around 1,251 miles from Los Angeles following a three-hour flight.

Earlier, Pacquiao jogged for about an hour at the Pan Pacific Park, unmindful of the cloudy and cool weather that has been the norm in L.A. the past few days.

Shortly after running, Dr. Allan Recto checked Pacquiao’s pulse rate and was amazed that it was at the range of just 52 beats per minute.

“He’s really in top condition," said Recto, the Texas-based doctor involved not only with Pacquiao, but with other world boxing bodies as well.

Recto explained that well-conditioned athletes usually have a lower beat per minute than the regular rate of 60.

“And considering that he’s fresh off a strenuous exercise, dapat talaga mataas ang pulse rate niya," said Recto.

In contrast, Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, according to Recto, has a pulse rate of 140 beat per minute shortly after joining Pacquiao in his early morning routine. - GMANews.TV


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