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Roach excited about Pacquiao’s speed and power in camp

By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach is excited about what he’s seeing from former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) as he gets ready for what could be the final fight of his long 21-year pro career against Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) on April 9 on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Roach believes that Pacquiao has the speed to overwhelm Bradley in this fight. Roach has been seeing that speed from Pacquiao during this training camp. I guess Pacquiao is training at a high level for this camp because his torn right rotator cuff is now completely healed after surgery.

It’s still unknown exactly when Pacquiao tore his rotator cuff. There are different opinions on it. Some think it happened during training camp for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight last May, while others believe that it happened during the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. There’s even talk that Pacquiao suffered his torn rotator cuff years earlier, and he’s simply been fighting with it all this time. That’s almost impossible to believe because I don’t think it’s humanly possible for a fighter to compete with a torn rotator cuff for years and years.

It’s unfortunate for Pacquiao that he couldn’t overwhelm Bradley in their two previous bouts, because if he had done just that, then perhaps we wouldn’t be seeing a third fight between them. However, knowing their promoter Bob Arum, I could see him making a third fight between them anyway even if Pacquiao had stomped Bradley by early knockouts in the two previous fights. The fact that the two previous fights between Pacquiao and Bradley brought in good pay-per-view numbers is likely the only reason why we’re seeing a third fight between them.

I think Arum would make a third fight anyway regardless of the outcomes in the first two because they bring in a lot of money. This seems to be more about business at this point. Pacquiao-Bradley I brought in 700,000 PPV buys on HBO, and Pacquiao-Bradley II brought in 800,000 PPV buys. Believe me, if Pacquiao-Bradley3 brings in 1 million PPV buys, you can bet that there will be tremendous pressure put on Pacquiao to get him to come back for a fourth, fifth and even a sixth Pacquiao-Bradley fight.

“The speed to overwhelm the opponent but it’s really speed and power. That’s what I want to see. We haven’t seen that for a long time,” said Roach via “He was on fire. It was a very good workout. He looked great with his power, his speed. He was very fast. It was a very good day,” said Roach.

Pacquiao hasn’t exactly been fighting at a high level in his last six fights. His record is 3-3 over that time period. He was knocked cold by Juan Manuel Marquez and beaten by Bradley in 2012. In 2015, Mayweather beat him. You can argue the only reason Pacquiao didn’t get beaten again by Bradley in their fight in 2014 was because Bradley suffered an injury to his calf and was forced to fight in a stationary manner.

“He’s ready to fight but the thing is we still have a week to go and a couple of sparring days,” said Roach. “But he’s ready to fight right now. We’re going eight rounds tomorrow but we might change that to six. don’t want to burn him out and overdo it. He’s already doing well,” Roach said.

Roach is talking up the fight, but I don’t know if I can believe anything that he’s saying right now. I have suspicions that Roach is giving a positive slant to what he’s seeing from Pacquiao in order to drive up the pay-per-view numbers for the fight on HBO. It’s no secret that the interest in the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight is less than impressive. It’s a played out fight that the public has already seen one time too many.

The whole rationale for a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley seems faulty to begin with. The only reason why Bradley was chosen over the other candidates vying for the spot was because he had a proven track record for bringing in PPV buys. In other words, Bradley gave Pacquiao the best chance to make the most money. What they don’t seem to realize is that the boxing public had their fill of the Pacquiao-Bradley rivalry after fight number two.

There was no need for a third fight after the last time they faced each other. Top Rank and Pacquiao would have been better off going in another direction for the April 9 fight, even if it meant that he might be ending his retirement with a knockout loss.

Pacquiao has a good chance of losing to Bradley in this third fight and ending his career on a defeat anyway. He might as well have shown some courage by taking on a new fighter that the boxing public hadn’t seen him fight before like Terence Crawford, Amir Khan, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Adrien Broner. I would have chosen Canelo for Pacquiao because boxing fans would have paid to see that fight in big numbers only to see if Canelo could use his size to KO Pacquiao.

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