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Freddie Roach Blog: How will Pacquiao win?

Fighters Network

Editor’s note: Freddie Roach, the trainer of Manny Pacquiao, has had a blog each day leading up to his fighter’s showdown with Ricky Hatton on Saturday in Las Vegas. This is the final installment: How will Pacquiao beat Hatton?

May 2, 2009

The key to the fight is distance. We can’t fight him at his distance, in close, we have to fight him at our distance. We have to keep him at the end of our punches, like Floyd Mayweather Jr. did when he knocked him out. If we let Ricky in close, it’s a huge advantage for him. Manny knows what he has to do.

We know Ricky will get Manny against the ropes at some point in the fight, even though that’s not what we want. We have a plan for when it happens, though. Again, Manny knows what to do.

We also can’t stand in front of him. We have to have constant lateral movement. We have to move side to side; we can’t move back in straight lines. We’ve pretty much perfected that. We did a lot of that in the fight against Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6. We’re even better now.

The problem Hatton has is balance. He crosses one leg over the other when he should be shuffling in. That means his balance is bad. And once he gets off balance, we’re going to tattoo him. We’ll get in five shots ever time he walks forward in a straight line.

I don’t feel there’s much he can do about it because he’s feet are crossed. He’s not in a position to punch.

We studied this guy really well the last three months. I like Ricky. He’s a product of promoter Frank Warren, though. Warren knows how to build fighters; he brings them along very carefully. Ricky looked good in his victory over Kostya Tszyu in 2005; he fought a great fight that night and maybe Tszyu had a bad night, I don’t know.

I do think he’s overrated, though. How did he get in this position? I’m not sure. He got knocked out by Mayweather, I mean really knocked out. It wasn’t a controversial stoppage. He comes back and beats Juan Lazcano, who hasn’t fought in a year and a half, and then beats (Paulie) Malignaggi, who isn’t a world-class fighter in my opinion. He sells tickets. I guess that’s why.

He keeps saying this fight for is for the pound-for-pound title. If we lose, he won’t be the pound-for-pound best. C’mon.

If Manny does what he’s supposed to do, he can make this an easy fight. It will be as easy or hard as Manny makes it. I think he’ll do it perfectly, though. I see this fight going just like the last one [against De La Hoya], I honestly do.

May 1, 2009

I’d like to see Manny fight two more times and then retire.

Yes, in a way, it will be sad when it’s over. It’s been an amazing run, a lot of fun. I want him to retire rich and healthy, though, and happy.

He will feel pressure to continue fighting but I don’t see any point in going on after two more fights. He wants to get into politics, to see if he can help his countrymen. He truly wants to help them. He’s going to college now, taking classes, so he’ll be better prepared for that. It’s something he really cares about.

I think he can do it. But I don’t think he can do it and box at the same time; he can’t do both. It’ll have to be one or the other.

I’d like to see him fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and then retire. He will have beaten the former pound-for-pound king. What better way to go out? It would be like a fairy tale ending.

And I know it’s possible. I believe in my guy. I know it’d be a tough, tough chore to beat Mayweather, the toughest challenge style-wise of his career. If he could do it, though, he’d have nothing more to prove. It would be icing on the cake.

April 30, 2009

What have I enjoyed most about working with Manny? Winning [laughs].

I hate to lose. The thing I like most about what I do is trying to bring out the best in somebody and then see them go out and perform in the fight. That’s really what makes me happy. I like winning.

Fortunately, that’s what Manny has done. We’ve lost only one time [a unanimous decision against Erik Morales in 2005] in eight years together.

I take losing hard. I try to analyze why we lost, what we were missing and how to improve in that area.

Losing isn’t always a bad thing if you learn from your mistakes. An example is the loss to Morales. We learned from mistakes. I used to let people watch Manny train 50 people deep at the gym. I thought that would motivate him, make him work even harder.

I made a mistake. It was a big distraction. And I learned from it. Now, when Manny trains, I close the gym. That was the lesson.

Sometimes you make better decisions after you lose because it really wakes you up. I still don’t like losing, though. I hate it.

April 29, 2009

I think Manny and I make a good team because we respect each other.

I don’t get too close to him; I keep more of a working relationship with him. I don’t hang out with him. I might go out to eat with him once in a while, mostly when we’re discussing business deals, when we have something to discuss.

I don’t bother him at his house. I don’t hang out with him, play darts, sing karaoke. I might go to a birthday party or special occasion but that’s it. It’s more of a working relationship.

And I think that helps a lot. When you get too close to a person, when you become too friendly, I think it can have a negative impact on your working relationship. We have respect for each other; that’s the key.

Another reason we’ve been successful is that Manny is willing to learn, which you can’t say about all fighters. He wants to get better all the time. He’s not satisfied with where he is. Michael Moorer has come in with new ideas. We’re working on some new moves.

Manny’s very receptive. He doesn’t agree with everything we come up with. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, we get rid of it. Everyone wants it to be that way. It’s a professional relationship that works well.

April 28, 2009

Manny has a lot of distractions outside of boxing. He does movies, makes records. He’s a national hero in his country.

One thing about Manny Pacquiao, though: When he comes through the door at The Wild Card Gym, he leaves it all behind. Everything. He still knows what he does best and that’s box.

His work ethic is better now than ever. That’s saying something because he has always worked so hard, but it’s true. He’s a machine. He knows what he’s good at and he excels at it. I’ve never seen anyone work harder.

I gave Manny a day off last week. We had about a half hour argument over that but finally he took the day off. I had someone stay with him to make sure he didn’t do anything. He’d probably go run or something like that. He did take the day off, though, and came in fresh the next day.

He had a nice day. He took his mother shopping for the first time in America. He took her to The Grove (shopping mall) in Los Angeles. They walked around, relaxed. They have big malls in the Philippines but I don’t think like The Grove. This is her first time in America. And it’ll be the first time she sees Manny fight live.

That was only the second day he’d taken off during an eight-week period. That’s how he is. He wants to work every day.

Why do others in his position fail? I think other fighters win world titles and they’re satisfied. Not Manny. He wants to do more for his country. He wants his country to be proud of him. The whole country is on his shoulders; he doesn’t want to disappoint anybody. And he usually doesn’t.

If he loses at some point? After he lost to Erik Morales (in 2005), I was upset. He said to me, “Freddie, there’s winner and there’s a loser. And we lost. It’s OK.” He accepted it. He didn’t blame anybody. He knows there’s a winner and a loser; it’s part of life. It doesn’t bother him. He wasn’t devastated.

He didn’t like losing, of course. He came back and won the next time. He deals with these things well.