Home Boxing News 10 rounds and two knockdowns show Manny Pacquiao is ready for Errol...

10 rounds and two knockdowns show Manny Pacquiao is ready for Errol Spence, says Freddie Roach

Manny Pacquiao with Freddie Roach. Photo credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Trainer Freddie Roach was a happy man when Manny Pacquiao told him he had decided to fight Errol Spence Jr next.

The 42-year-old Filipino superstar will have his first fight in two years when he takes on WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence, 31, in an all-southpaw showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 21.

Former eight-division world champion Pacquiao will enter the ring with a record of 62-7-2 (39). Undefeated Texan Spence comes in with a ledger of 27-0 (21).

“We took this fight because we think that Errol Spence Jr is one of the best fighters out there,” trainer Freddie Roach said of Pacquiao.

“I’ve talked with Manny throughout the years and he’s always said that he wants to be the best at what he does. There’s no sense in getting in there with some popular fighter who’s no good. We want to fight the best. I congratulated Many when he chose to fight Errol.

“Being out of the ring for a little while can go either way with someone like Manny. The thing is, he’s working out all the time. He shows me everything that he’s up to when he’s in the Philippines and I just give him little adjustments. When he shows up here, he’s ready to go.

“He had probably his best sparring yesterday, we went ten rounds and he got two knockdowns. It was the old Manny Pacquiao from 10 years ago. He’s not as big of a puncher usually at welterweight, but those knockdowns yesterday were a great boost for him.

“Spence is a good boxer, but he’s a very good puncher. We know that when we get inside, we have to be smart getting back outside. It has to be quick combinations and then out right away.

“I told Manny that knocking down Keith Thurman early gave him a lot of momentum in that fight and I’d like to see that again in this fight. He knows that he has to use his speed to do that. He understands completely what I want.

“Manny Pacquiao has always loved to fight southpaws. He understands how they work and what they want to do. That’s really one of the big reasons we took this fight.

“I think Manny is going to out box Spence. His footspeed is unbelievable and much better than his opponent’s. Spence follows you around and is heavy on his feet. He seems very set to the ground. Manny’s speed will overwhelm him. I’m really happy with the game plan so far.”

Coach Roach added retirement could still be some time away yet for the boxer who turned professional 26 years ago as a skinny 16-year-old 106-pounder.

“Manny doesn’t need to play his golden oldies. He is still producing new hits,” Roach said.

“He hasn’t cut one corner in training camp. Not one. He runs up the hills in Griffith Park straight to the Hollywood sign. He crunches thousands of sit-ups daily. He spars three days each week and hits every bag on the gym floor with bad intentions every day.

“He is still the hardest worker I have ever trained and an eager student. He wants this one more than anything. Manny isn’t training this hard to say goodbye. It’s to prove he’s still here.

“Philippine politics might influence when Manny hangs up his gloves. Maybe this is Manny’s last fight. But this summer, he has been training for his greatest victory and for Manny, that is saying something.

“It’s the stuff that greatness is made of.”