Roach: Manny far from peak form
BAGUIO, Philippines – To the uninitiated, Manny Pacquiao looked fast and furious, and ready to jump on undefeated American Timothy Bradley.
But behind Freddie Roach's glasses, it's just Manny Pacquiao who's just getting started.
"Obviously he's not peaking yet," said Roach yesterday following Pacquiao's rigid two-hour workout at the jampacked Shape-Up Gym here.
"We have a long way to go. But I'm happy we have all the time," Roach added.
Pacquiao has a little over five weeks to train for his June 9 showdown with Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – just enough time for him to get into top shape.
"We're just getting started," said Roach.
Still, you can see it in his eyes that he's happy with the progress. Pacquiao is in his third week of training in this cool summer capital.
On Thursday he'd be back in Manila, and on Saturday will fly to Los Angeles to resume training at the Wild Card Gym.
"He's doing okay. I'm not expecting him to be ready yet but I can see some of the explosiveness. I just want a little more consistency with that," Roach said.
Five weeks left in the camp, the hottest boxing trainer in the world said, is enough time. He admitted that Pacquiao isn't even close to half of his ability.
"Halfway? Not even close," he said.
"But I see him pushing himself, challenging himself, working hard," Roach added.
The camp is going perfectly alright with very minimal distractions. Roach wouldn't call Pacquiao's devotion to the bible as a form of distraction, even glad with what he's seeing.
Roach, of course, would rather see Pacquiao reading the bible and singing biblical songs than doing the things he used to do.
Roach said things are great despite the absence of strength coach Alex Ariza who left Baguio two weeks ago to train Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Mexico.
In Ariza's absence, Filipino trainer Marvin Somodio is leaving some good impression.
"Marvin is doing a great job handling the chores Alex used to do," Roach said.
"There's nothing more I can say except that Alex left."