MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach warned his prized ward, Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, of being too much of a nice guy inside the boxing ring, saying it will cost him in more ways than one.
Pacquiao’s April 12 opponent, Timothy Bradley Jr., has repeatedly claimed that the “Pacman” no longer has the same killer instinct that he displayed in his youth, and even Roach admits that it “remains to be seen” if Pacquiao will hold off his “nice guy” instincts when they fight.
“That can be Manny at the moment, and well, it’s impossible to change people,” Roach said shortly before he and Pacquiao left for Los Angeles last Saturday.
“The thing is, if he keeps going that way, he might get another bad decision, or he might make less money,” Roach pointed out.
Pacquiao had controversially lost to Bradley when they first fought in June 2012, with the American winning a disputed split decision even with nearly all ringside observers concluding that the Filipino won the bout handily.
Roach also said that Pacquiao’s “Mr. Nice Guy” tendencies may be keeping him from giving the boxing fans want they want to see – the crowd-pleasing knockouts.
“People want to see knockouts. Manny wants to give people what they want to see? People want to see knockouts!” Roach said.
“He says he knows it, he says he wants to give people want to see, but he hasn’t given them a knockout in five years,” the trainer added. “So let’s wake up.”
Roach stressed that Pacquiao remains “very, very, very good,” and that the Filipino’s speed, skill, and power are all still intact.
Asked to explain Pacquiao’s lack of knockout victories, Roach said: “He’s being a nice guy, plain and simple, a hundred percent.”
“He could have knocked out a lot of guys. He hurt a lot of guys, but he didn’t finish them because he was being too compassionate. He doesn’t need to be that, because what people want to see is a knockout,” Roach said.
There’s also a danger to letting an opponent off the hook even if Pacquiao already has him hurt, says Roach.
“One punch can change things. If he lets somebody go a couple of extra rounds, it gives (the opponent) a chance to get the knockout himself, so he can’t risk that,” he said. “If you hurt a guy, you have to finish him.” –
Roach and Pacquiao are now in Los Angeles, where the Filipino boxer will hold the second phase of his training camp in preparation for his rematch against Bradley. -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.