Roach: I have to keep Pacquiao focused on boxing

By Boxing News - 02/23/2016 - Comments

roach6By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says he’s having to work on keeping Manny Pacquiao focused on the task at hand in getting ready for his next fight against Tim Bradley. Roach says that Pacquiao is still playing basketball at night during training camp, and he wants to keep him focused on boxing so that he’ll be ready for his April 9 fight against the 32-year-old Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s an important fight for the Filipino star because it’s supposed to be his last one.

The real question is why is Pacquiao playing basketball? He’s supposed to be getting ready for what is the most important fight of his career. If Pacquiao loses to Bradley on April 9, it might hurt his political ambitions.

Pacquiao is running for a seat in the senate in the May elections in the Philippines. You would think that another loss to Bradley could mess things up for Pacquiao, causing him to lose the election.

Pacquiao isn’t going to be able to just deny that he lost the fight like he did in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. If Pacquiao tries that trick of denying that he got whipped, then I think it could hurt him with his constituents, because they might see him as a sore loser who can’t admit when he’s been beaten. A good sport is supposed to respect the opinions of the judges by agreeing with them. A good sport is supposed to give credit to their conquerors. I didn’t see that from Pacquiao last May after he was beaten by Mayweather.

It’ll be televised on HBO pay-per-view, even though you can make an argument that it should be on free television given how many times the two have fought each other. It’s like a movie that ran in the theaters and brought in a lot of ticket sales. But instead of having the movie go to free television, Top Rank is selling it again. I think that’s bad. I see it as a bad product and I’ll be surprised if it brings even 100,000 PPV buys.

“I have to keep his focus now on boxing because he is still playing basketball,” said Roach to

For all the basketball that Pacquiao plays, I don’t think he’s any good at all. I think would shut him completely if I was guarding him and stuff all of his attempts to shoot. I could understand Pacquiao wanting to play hoops all the time if he was any good, but he looks very mediocre to me. I think would have shut him down when I was 11 or 12.

I think Roach sounds helpless. He can’t control Pacquiao. It sounds bad. A guy not dedicated.

Roach needs to be assertive and stake out the basketball gym at night. If Pacquiao tries to play basketball, then Roach needs to go after him and block his entrance to the gym and steer him back to the boxing gym. We don’t need to hear excuses from Pacquiao, Roach or promoter Bob Arum after the Bradley fight on April 9, saying that basketball was the reason for the loss.

If Pacquiao can’t even dedicate himself to the task at hand in getting ready for the Bradley fight, then what doe that tell you about his motivation? I think Pacquiao is just going through the motions at this point and isn’t dedicated enough to do a good job.

Pacquiao has Canadian lightweight Ghislain Maduma in camp as one of his sparring partners. I’m not sure that Maduma is going to be much help to Pacquiao because he’s too small, and won’t be able to give a real test for what he’ll be dealing with when he gets inside the ring with Bradley on 4/9.

“He (Pacquiao) is very unpredictable,” said Maduma to

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