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Roach doubts Pacquiao retirement

LONDON (6 April) – Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is sceptical about Manny Pacquiao hanging up his gloves following his rubber match with Timothy Bradley this weekend.

The Filipino superstar is tipped to call it a day and bring to an end a glittering fight career after his decisive showdown with American rival Bradley, live and exclusive on Premier Sports.

The eight-division world champion has political ambitions in his home country, as he runs for a seat in the Philippines senate, however, Roach believes his star pupil still has more to give to boxing but expects him to put on a great display if his journey is to end on Saturday night.

“I personally don’t know if this will be Manny’s last fight but he is training like it’s going to be his last fight. Manny has achieved so much in his boxing career and if this is going to be his swan song I know he wants to go out blazing with a spectacular performance,” said Roach.

“If the opportunity for a knockout presents itself during the fight, he’s going to go for it. He knows how to close the show and he wants this show closed with fireworks. He wants to finish the book on his boxing career with a spectacular ending.

“I do think Manny has more quality fights in him. His power, speed, work ethic are still superior to most others,” he said.

56-year-old Roach, who has worked with numerous world champions including the likes of Mike Tyson, Miguel Cotto and Oscar De la Hoya, ranks Pacquiao as the greatest he has trained.

“Manny is the greatest fighter I have ever worked with,” said Roach. “I have never seen another fighter accomplish so much. Forget the raw talent and drive to win, Manny was a great student who never rested on his laurels.

“He was a sponge who was always willing to learn new things. He challenged me to teach him new things. He made me a better trainer.

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“For me, it’s been an experience unique to Manny. I wish I had a million fighters with as much drive and a willingness to learn new things,” he said.

Five-time world champion Bradley has been praised for his recent performances since switching trainers to Teddy Atlas and many expect the Californian to give Pacquiao the toughest test of what will be their trilogy this time around.

Roach, though, does not think there has been much change in Bradley’s style and expects him to revert to his old ways once he feels Pacquiao’s power.

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“I don’t feel Bradley has changed that much. Sure, we will make some adjustments for the changes his new trainer implemented in the last fight, but as soon as Manny lands some meaningful punches, Bradley will revert back to his old style and that’s what we have to be prepared for. The log in the ocean is going to end up being a log in the buzz saw.”

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