MANILA, Philippines – Boxing coach Freddie Roach bared his reason for encouraging Manny Pacquiao to return to the junior welterweight division.
The boxing hall-of-famer thinks the Filipino superstar is most dangerous at 140 pounds. It was where Pacquiao scored perhaps his most devastating knockout victory by dropping Ricky Hatton in just two rounds.
"I think Manny is strongest at 140 (lbs) and he can still make the limit if he wants to," said Roach in Joaquin Henson’s Philstar column, "The Dean’s Corner."
He also denied speculations that the 35-year-old boxing superstar has lost his knockout power due to age.
"Age has nothing to do with it… If you notice, Manny has knocked out only two opponents as a welterweight," Roach said referring to Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto.
The trainer added that Pacquiao has also become a smarter fighter.
He said gone are the days when the Filipino would just rush towards his opponent for a quick knockout win.
"You won’t see Manny charging in wildly during a fight. He’s more calculating. He’s fighting more intelligently."
This was evident when the fighting congressman fought Timothy Bradley in a rematch last April.
Pacquiao showed that he could re-adjust his strategies midway the fight, especially after being caught with a big right hand from Bradley in the fourth round.