MANILA, Philippines - Five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach says Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is motivated for his trilogy bout against rival Juan Manuel Marquez, and it shows in how the pound-for-pound king is beating up his sparring partners.
"He's been a little harder on his sparring partners than usual," Roach said in an interview with BoxingScene.com. "He's been on fire. Usually in sparring, he'll give me about 50%, because he's saving it for the fight. But now, he's giving me about 70%."
"He's been rough on his sparring partners until he hurts them and then he backs off," he added.
Pacquiao is currently in the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, training for the bout scheduled on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Roach adds Top Rank boss Bob Arum had asked him to "slow down" Pacquiao a bit, as the Filipino boxer has been going harder in training camp than usual.
"When Manny hits the speed bag, I put the picture of Marquez wearing that T-shirt, just to remind Manny," Roach said, referring to the Marquez' shirt bearing the words "Marquez beat Pacquiao twice."
"I said to Manny, 'You don't like this guy, do you?' He just smiled at me and walked away," Roach added.
Long 3 rounds
Pacquiao's sparring partners confirmed Roach's words in the second episode of 24/7: Pacquiao vs Marquez.
|Rey Beltran, one of Pacquiao's sparring partners.
"He seem warm, he's on a good day today," said David Rodela, a sparring partner of Pacquiao for his last 12 training camps. "As soon as I got hit with the first straight left, I knew it was gonna be a long 3 rounds for me."
Irish boxer Jamie Kavanagh was knocked down a couple of times by Pacquiao during their sparring session.
"He comes in just to do his work, it's pretty awesome," Kavanagh said. "Today, I see him differently. There's more venom in his punches. He seems to be spot on."
Veteran spar mate Rey Beltran said Pacquiao was ready for fight night.
"If the fight was tomorrow, you're ready to go," Beltran told Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, agrees with Beltran, saying, "I wish the fight was tomorrow, in fact."