Fred Sternburg: We’ve got a bi-coastal conference call today. In Hollywood, California, I’m here with superstar Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s most exciting fighter, and trainer world-famous Freddie Roach.
And from Atlantic City, we have promoter Bob Arum who is there with Kelly Pavlik as he attempts to dethrone Jermain Taylor this weekend in their middleweight world championship.
We’re nine days away from ‘Will To Win” — a four-bout pay-per-view extravaganza that will be headlined by Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera in a twelve round super featherweight rumble. It’s a fight we’ve been looking forward to for many, many years.
The first fight was very exciting and we expect nothing less this time. It’ll be coming live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. And of course it’ll be seen live on HBO pay per view beginning at 9:00 pm East coast and 6:00 pm Pacific. So without any further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce Hall of Fame promoter and co-promoter of the fight, Bob Arum.
Bob Arum: Welcome to everybody on this conference call. Manny arrived in the United States in Los Angeles last Saturday night. He trained extensively for the fight in the Philippines in Cebu City.
He was accompanied in his training by the great trainer Freddie Roach who supervised the training. And rather than me go into how great Manny looks, et cetera, I prefer you hear it first hand from Freddie Roach who spent all that time in the Philippines getting Manny ready for the fight. Freddie.
Freddie Roach: Manny, we trained in Cebu for six weeks and we had a great training camp. Very hot and humid there but good for the fighter to work out in. And we had great sparring partners. I brought two sparring partners from America, (Bill Trensp?) and (David Rozella).
And we had two sparring partners from the Philippines. And we boxed about 130 rounds. And we had a great training camp and we’re just finishing up here at the Wild Card. We had a great workout yesterday and we have the media workout today of course. And Manny’s going to box a little bit with that.
And he weighs 132 pounds right now. He’s ready to go. He’s just anxious and I’m actually going to start holding back a little bit and save a little of that energy for the fight.
Bob Arum: Thank you Freddie. And now it’s my pleasure to introduce the man who without any doubt, at least any doubt in this corner, is the pound-for-pound best fighter in boxing today because of the way he fights and because of the way he handles and can dominate his opponent.
He’s in with a tough cagey veteran in Marco Antonio Barrera who every time you think he’s down, comes back better than ever. But Manny Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. And I at least have no doubt about the result of the fight. So, now a pleasure to put on the call the pride of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao: Hello everybody. Thank you Bob and coach Freddie and also to all the people I love boxing and to all my fans. Thank you very much and I’m ready to fight.
Ryan Macalua: Hi Manny. Many are saying for Barrera to beat you he needs to run around the ring and box while you chase him. What do you think about this style? And do you have anything prepared if he comes out with this style to beat you on fight night?
Manny Pacquiao: I know he’s going to bounce me. We know that already and we’re prepared on that. And even if it’s coming, we’ve prepared everything. Freddie Roach he gives me a lot of techniques.
pound-for-pound fighter to many. Many people have called you out in the 135 division; to name a few, Diaz and Casamayor. Do you have any desire to move up in weight if you get past Barrera?
Manny Pacquiao: Well we have a plan on that but right now we’re focusing to our upcoming fight. Let’s finish this job. After that, we’ll talk about it.
Ryan Macalua: And Freddie Roach. I have a question for you.
Freddie Roach: Yep.
Ryan Macalua: Marco Antonia Barrera, a couple of days in his conference call, was concerned about you talking about him using his hand wrap.
Freddie Roach: Yeah.
Ryan Macalua: Also the fact that you should worry about your own fighter. Also questioning your training ability. What do you have to say about this?
Freddie Roach: Well I don’t think hand wraps have anything to do with my training ability, but I feel that he wraps in excessively. And when Manny fought him in Texas, we complained to the commission about that.
The commission was in my favor and said that it was not a legal wrap. And so we just made him wrap legally. So, you know, Marco I’m taking care of my fighter and making sure that you don’t break any rules.
Lance Pugmire: Hey Freddie, how did – when you talk about the training going well over there in the Philippines, there’s been some talk that Manny’s been a distracted fighter with a lot of commitments and a lot of responsibilities that he’s on the (10-2).
Did you see any of that? Are there any concerns from your perspective as you head into this fight?
Freddie Roach: None whatsoever because once we started training camp, that’s all we did. He played basketball for a couple weekends and I wasn’t happy about that. And I asked Manny to stop playing basketball. And he told me that was no problem. So four weeks before the fight we stopped the basketball and it’s just because I was afraid of injury.
But once we started training, there was no distractions whatsoever. Once Manny gets in that training mode in that gym, there’s no better fighter in the world that I’ve ever seen that trains harder than Pacquiao.
So we really had a good camp and we had great runs. We had these hill runs that were just monster hills and 45 minutes straight up. And Manny’s in – he’s in really, really good shape and I’m really happy where he’s at right now.
Lance Pugmire: Okay. Great. Thanks Freddie. And for Manny, do you feel as if you’re in better shape than you were even for last fight? I know at the end of last fight, you almost had – it looked like you had like a little emotional breakdown like you were just relieved that you had gotten through that fight and gotten victory with everything that was going on with the election and all that.
Do you feel like you’re in better shape this time or less distracted or can you compare the two training camps and how you feel going into this fight?
Manny Pacquiao: Right now I’m 100% conditioned and I feel good and I feel ready to fight. The same way we did the last three fights.
Dan Rafael: Let me start with Manny. You know there’s a rematch of course between you and Barrera and you won the first fight so overwhelmingly and so easily, is it in any way hard not to be over confident seeing as how easily you beat him the first time? And now, of course, it’s several years later and, you know, it would be impossible to think that Barrera is better now than he was then.
Manny Pacquiao: Well, I don’t know. I don’t want to give this fight over confidence and give him a chance for revenge. And that’s why I work hard this fight and I train hard to get in shape (unintelligible).
Dan Rafael: Manny do you ever go back and look at the original fight for any reason or do you just do that – Marco spent a lot of time with us on the phone I believe yesterday or Tuesday saying that it was a bad night and, you know, that was basically it. Do you – is there anything that you look at in the first fight that you plan to do sort of the same in the second fight?
Manny Pacquiao: Well I know he’s – right now he’s out planning some techniques for this coming fight but, you know, those are his reasons to why he lose. You know, I don’t know that. I don’t have to comment on that. It was what he told on himself that he (unintelligible) on the fight. So we’ll see on October 6 really the stuff in the first fight.
Dan Rafael: Hey Freddie can you address that also? You were with Manny of course in the first fight. You know, I have a hard time thinking that Marco is better now that he was five years ago even though he’s had some big wins since the first fight with Manny. What is your assessment of the way the first fight if it means anything as guys go into the rematch next week?
Freddie Roach: Well I’m sure he has to make some adjustments from the first fight till now and he’s not going to fight us the same way obviously because it wasn’t successful the first time. And, no, we expect him to be in that counterpunch mode and fight at a slow pace and we’re just not going to let that happen.
Manny’s a great pressure fighter and, you know, we have some new tricks we’re working on. And Manny’s responding very well to it. And, you know, I still think Manny’s a very teachable guy and he’s still learning. And I don’t think he’s peaked yet. And he’s getting better all the time.