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Pacquiao is faster than before, says Roach

LR_MAYPAC-TRAPPFOTOS-FINAL PRESSER-0061(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions) By Chris Williams: Believe it or not, Manny Pacquiao has reversed the aging process. Instead of him slowing down as he’s aged, he’s getting faster than he was five years ago, according to his trainer Freddie Roach. From the way Roach is describing Pacquiao, he’s the new Benjamin Button, a person who defies the aging process.

Pacquiao has been working hard with trainer Freddie Roach to get ready for his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. this Saturday night, and Roach believes that Pacquiao is the best he’s seen during the time he’s been with him.

“He [Pacquiao] is faster than before and I can tell he’s hitting harder than ever because he’s hurt me a couple of times in the gym which none of my fighters have done before.”

If Pacquiao is hurting Roach now while hitting the mitts and the body pad that Roach uses during training it might be a case of Roach getting older rather than Pacquiao getting faster. I don’t know if Roach has thought about that but he might want to. Roach is 55 now, and there’s got to be a lot of wear and tear on his hands from holding the mitts for a lot of different top level fighters over the years. If his hands are starting to hurt it might be a sign of the cumulative wear and tear on his hands.

“As for the gloves, the commission have approved our gloves but they say theirs are not ready yet,” Roach said. “I will be the one in their dressing room watching them wrap Floyd’s hands. Manny wraps his own hands. Sometimes people put too much wrapping on.”

Roach will be inspecting Mayweather’s gloves the night before the fight on May 1st. While you hope that there’s no drama involved with Roach making a big deal about Mayweather’s gloves, it’s almost expected. Mayweather is using Grant gloves, which are non-puncher’s gloves and already Roach is starting to raise potential issues about the gloves having too much padding or weighing too much.

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As for the fight, Roach said “But I believe he can win every round and if the chance for the knock-out comes it will be a bonus.”

If Pacquiao couldn’t win every round in his second fight against Tim Bradley in April of last year, I don’t think it’s too likely that Pacquiao is going to be able to win every round against a fighter who is considered to be better than Bradley in Mayweather. Pacquiao beat Bradley by the following scores in their second fight last year: 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112. What those scores showed you is that the fight wasn’t far from being a draw. Pacquiao won handily on one card, which was the oddball scorecard, but the other two guys scored it close at 116-112.

I don’t think for a second that Pacquiao is faster now than he was five years ago, and I definitely don’t think he’s punching as hard as he was back in 2009 and 2010 when he had Alex Ariza working with him as his strength and conditioning coach. It’s nice that Roach is pumping Pacquiao up by bragging about his power, his speed and his ability to win every round against Mayweather, but I don’t think any of that exists in the real world outside of Roach’s vivid imagination.

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