MANILA, Philippines – Boxing trainer Freddie Roach wants to make sure that his prized fighter Manny Pacquiao won’t suffer the same fate when he returns to the ring later this year.
When the Filipino boxer returns to training, Roach said he’ll be constantly on the lookout for any possible signs of neurological damage in Pacquiao.
The trainer himself has been enduring Parkinson’s disease after receiving heavy blows in the head during his stint as a boxer.
"There are things I will be looking for in our next training camp," he told Bill Dwyre of the LA Times.
"First, it is the footwork. I will be able to tell if he starts feeling for the canvas. I remember when I did. I'll look for any slight tremors.”
Roach wanted to make sure that Pacquiao is truly fit to fight after the Filipino boxer got knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
The Filipino boxer was rushing to finish Marquez when he walked straight to the Mexican’s counter right hand in the sixth round.
It took the Filipino more than a minute to regain his senses.
"He says he's fine, and I believe him," said Roach, who insisted that Pacquiao postpone his ring return at least until September.
With adequate rest, Roach believes the Filipino boxer can go straight to another rematch with Marquez.
"I told Bob Arum [Pacquiao's promoter] that I didn't want Manny back in the ring as soon as April," said Roach. "I think a fifth fight with Marquez in September is the right fight. I think that makes more sense now than ever."
Last month, a Filipino neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez claimed that Pacquiao exhibited possible signs of Parkinson's disease, citing the boxer's hand twitches during television interviews as a cause for concern.
Jimenez, however, admitted he he could be wrong with his observations.