Boxing


Roach, Arum Talk About Pacquiao-De la Hoya

Bob Arum: Weíre getting closer and closer to the fight. Freddie Roach, who I regard as the best trainer in boxing today, is working hard with Manny. Heís going to have Manny in tip-top shape. I donít know how much better Manny can be than what he is now. But just amazing and weíre going to shock the world on December 6 because with Freddieís guidance Manny is going to not only defeat Oscar but knock Oscar out. So itís a pleasure me to turn this over to Freddie Roach..

Freddie Roach: Thanks Bob. Training campís going very well. Manny Pacquiaoís in great shape. Weíre still four weeks ago and weíre just kind of maintaining and I have some great sparring partners and everythingís really going well. Iím really happy where heís at right now. And weíre all anxious for the fight.

Mark Whicker: Freddie - your experience from training Oscar - what types of things do you think youíve learned that will put you in good stead for this fight being on the other side?

Freddie Roach: Heís got a good left hand and doesnít have a lot of confidence in his right hand. So, we know we have to get past that jabbing and thatís going to be our toughest opposition, I believe. And weíre working on that and Iíve got some great sparring partners with better jabs than Oscar and Mannyís handling it very well.

And weíre going to put pressure on this guy because I know Oscar tends to get tired late in rounds in slow paced fights. Weíre going to fight the whole time and just burn him out.

Steve Carp: Hi Freddie. Can you talk a little bit more about these sparring partners that youíve brought in? Maybe give a couple of specific names of some guys and why you felt you needed to bring these guys in to help replicate what Oscar tries to do.

Freddie Roach: Marvin Cordova, whoís very fast Ė heís got a quick jab, 20 -0, with one draw, (unintelligible) fighter really hard work. He weighs 158 pounds right now. Heís big. Heís tall like Oscar.

Rashad Holloway, my number one sparring partner because he looks like Oscar more than anybody - heís got the height and the boxing ability and heís been in it with everybody.

And Iíve also got Amir Khan. Amir has a great left hand; very fast. He and Manny are really going at it. I wanted Amir to get his confidence back and Iím training him now too, so itís worked out well from both sides there.

And Manny had a little bit of trouble with Amirís jab early but then he attacks it and takes it away from him and has great results later in rounds. And so these three sparring partners are really working out well for me.

And I think duplicating what Oscar does best and Mannyís doing very well with them.

Steve Carp: Freddie, thereís talk that Edwin Valeroís been in Oscarís camp sparring him. We know how hard he hits and thereíd been talk of Manny fighting Valero instead of Oscar, you know, right around this time of the year.

What are your thoughts about Valero getting Oscar prepared and how much do you think he replicates what Manny does?

Freddie Roach: Valeroís probably nothing like Manny Pacquiao. He punches hard but heís slow as molasses. And I think they got the wrong guy.

Michael David Smith: How much does Manny weigh right now? And seeing as Oscarís significantly bigger than anyone Mannyís fought before how does that change his preparation?

Freddie Roach: He weighs 151 pounds right now. We have him on a better diet and feeding him more protein and putting the weight on (unintelligible) keeping that weight stabilized actually.

And heís been about the same weight throughout camp and so we were a couple of pounds overweight, actually. Weíre not coming up and weighing. We didnít use any weightlifting or anything like that to make him bigger just because I believe speed wins this fight.

His body fat is 6%. His weightís good. Oscarís a little taller and so forth but by fight time I think Oscar will probably weigh about 160 pounds and Manny will be about 150 pounds.

So ten pounds Iím not really worried about that because I feel that speed wins this fight - not size.

Michael David Smith: I guess David Diaz is the biggest guy Manny has fought. Has he expressed at any point any concern that size is a problem or is he just ready to go against a bigger guy and doesnít see that as an issue?

Freddie Roach: Itís not an issue at all. Weíre just preparing for the fight. He knows he can win this fight. I know he can win this fight. Weíre very confident. Training campís going really, really well. Heís handling the biggest sparring partners well.

When I saw how he handled the biggest sparring partners I was very pleased.

And heís doing well.

Mark Whicker: Freddie, I guess the concern that people have mostly about this fight is whether Mannyís punches are going to have the same effect against a guy that big and Mannyís ability to take Oscarís punches, assuming that he does get hit.

How do you address those two things and who is the guy that you remembered (unintelligible) in Mannyís career who he had to take the hardest punches from?

Freddie Roach: Well Manny in his career Önobody as big as Oscar. of course. But in the gym, Victor Ortiz - he and Manny went at it, I mean toe-to-toe. Victorís a good puncher, very strong kid.

Manny handled it with no problem but again the gymís a gym and the fight is a fight. Oscar Ö his right hand is kind of okay but his left hook is a power shot; something we have to look out for. Weíre working on staying away from that.

And Mannyís size Ö the thing is again, Iím not looking for a knockout. If a knockout comes, it comes. Weíre going to break this guy down and win each round one at a time. And thatís our goal.

And if Oscar tires, like he normally does, we will stop him. Iím not worried about Manny being a knockout puncher in this fight because heís not that one- punch knockout type of guy. He breaks people down and he gets them out late and is more with aggression.

Mark Whicker: How long do you think Manny has envisioned fighting Oscar? Has it been years? Months? And also, having seen Oscar and having trained him and also having trained Manny for a long time how long have you envisioned this fight?

Freddie Roach: Well I didnít really think it was possible at one point in my life. But then as I thought about it, and I watched Oscar with smaller guys and with southpaws - he has trouble with both - I started thinking about it. And it made sense to me when the fight was finally offered.

So, I pushed for this fight hard because I knew it was a great fight for Manny and itís really not this fight itís what it does for his life. I think it makes him a superstar.

Heís already a great fighter but this is going to be the icing on the cake. And, Mannyís really been working hard for this one and I donít think the size is that big a deal. If a guy has a height advantage or a reach advantage, how easy is that to take away? Itís very easy and Manny has that style to take that advantage away.

Heís aggressive, he comes forward, and when you get close to a guy with long arms they need room - it crowds their punches. So Iím not worried about the size.

Raymundo Dioses: Where does Manny rank in other fighters youíre trained? Is he the greatest fighter youíve trained?

Freddie Roach: Maybe. You know, James Toney is hard to beat. Heís a natural fighter, a great boxer. You know, (unintelligible) - Iíve had the opportunity to work with a lot of great fighters.

But Mannyís my best work I feel. Iíve had Manny from where he was kind of a raw, fast, hard-punching kid when he came in. Now heís a much better fighter and more technical and weíve spent a lot of time - weíve very close to each other.

Mannyís my favorite figure for sure. Iíve worked with a lot of great guys. Itís just been - Iíve been fortunate to work with guys like James Toney and Mike Tyson and those type of guys.

But Manny definitely is the hardest worker Iíve ever worked with and that shows.

Raymundo Dioses: How has the HBO 24/7 series been towards Manny? Has Manny been accessible to them?

Freddie Roach: Weíre getting along well with them. Itís not a problem. Itís part of life right now and weíre dealing with it as best we can. Mannyís just doing his normal thing and thatís the great thing about 24/7 - him doing his normal thing.

So heís doing okay. It gets a little intrusive at times and maybe a little bit tiresome at times but we feel pretty good about it though because when we tell them to go home they do.

Raymundo Dioses: Given the past animosity with Oscar would you ever train Oscar again if the opportunity came up?

Freddie Roach: I donít think so. The thing is he told me that heíd never fight without me in his corner again one time and he just wanted to make me feel good at some point and I fell for it. But I did feel good for a moment.

I have no problem with Oscar. Heís a great guy. I think weíll be friends after the fight someday. But he has his (unintelligible) right now, you know, I use what I learned to prepare my guy to get ready for this fight.

And Oscar says that Iím more motivated to fight the fight (unintelligible) look for a job.

Robert Morales: Freddie I was just wondering where is in your mind as far as you know where is all this stuff about Victor Ortiz beating up Oscar coming from? Because the Ortiz camp has vehemently denied it and said that they would never do anything like that.

Freddie Roach: Do something like what?

Robert Morales: Beat up Oscar in training.

Freddie Roach: Oh. Just reports from 24/7 actually. One of the guys told me that Victor beat him up; they have it on film. They said it would be on the first episode. But, you know, Victor Ortiz is a friend of mine. I think heís a great sparring partner for Oscar. I think heís much better than Valero. Victor is a great guy; heís on the show.

Who cares what theyíre doing up there? Iím getting my guy ready. I have - I could care less what theyíre doing up there.

Kevin Mitchell: Was part of the decision of taking Amir Khan on the fact that he would provide pretty good sparring for Manny?

Freddie Roach: No because I didnít think he was big enough at the time but when Amir got here, I saw his height and I saw how good his jab was. Iíve seen Amir in the past of course but only on TV and I met him once.

So it really just happened by accident. I was working with him (unintelligible). I said, ďYou know what? This is like Oscarís jab.Ē So I liked it so it gave me a good idea and itís worked out well..

Eduardo Ohata: Mr. Roach do you think that having worked with Mr. Oscar De La Hoya itíll help you now that you are in the corner of Mr. Manny Pacquiao?

Freddie Roach: Yes. I think it helps a little bit. But it doesnít win the fight of course. The thing is, I can advise Manny and tell him certain habits that Oscar has and so forth and hopefully we can take advantage of them.

But itís up to Manny Pacquiao to make those moves though. And I think itís a little bit helpful, yes, but it doesnít win the fight. Manny Pacquiao - his ability will win the fight I believe.

Eduardo Ohata: We know that you suffer from the Parkinsonís disease. The question is how are you able to work with so many world champions as you do? How do you neutralize the disease?

Freddie Roach: I take care of myself as best I can. I live a very clean life. My biggest downfall is Haagen-Dazs ice cream. I live clean and so forth.

But I think once I get in the ring and start working with my fighters the Parkinsonís goes away. For some reason I have no problems in that capacity and Iím going to keep working until I canít anymore.

So itís not a problem right now.

Michael David Smith: I wonder are there other fighters you are currently preparing for a fight while youíre also preparing Manny or is Manny the one guy youíre working with?

Freddie Roach: No, I have four fights this month before Manny. I start my day in the gym at 8 am and I finish at 8 pm and I train Manny from Noon to four. Amir comes in from four to six. Iím busy. I work a full day with other fighters

Mark Whicker: When you trained Oscar - and of course heís been through a lot of trainers as we all know - how attentive was he? How willing was to listen was he? And is there anything that he didnít do in the fight that you trained him to do and wish he had?

Freddie Roach: Oscar was great in training camp. He works really hard and heís a hard trainer, heís a hard worker. I know that. Heís not the fastest learner in the world. When you show him something new you have to keep working on him where Pacquiao picks it up a lot quicker. You show Manny something once he picks it up quick. Oscarís not that type of guy.

And not that thereís anything wrong with it but the thing is it takes a little more time for him. The game plan we had for the fight [against Mayweather], was working well in the early rounds and I thought we were winning the fight. And then he abandoned the game plan and then we end up losing the decision. And then, I guess about a month ago, he started blaming me for the loss.

But, heís always blaming somebody so he can blame me for this one too.

Mark Whicker: What did you want him to do in those later rounds (unintelligible)?

Freddie Roach: Well the (unintelligible) jab was working well for him and thatís his bread and butter but he just lost sight of it and I just couldnít get him to bring it back.

You know, (unintelligible) but it just wasnít there.

Robert Morales: Iíve been reading on the internet, guys like Margarito and the Chavezís and other Mexicans who are putting their support behind Manny Pacquiao over Oscar who of course is not a Mexican national but he is a Mexican American.

What do you think that says? What does that say to you about Oscar - about anything? What do you think about that - these guys supporting Manny instead of the Mexican?

Freddie Roach: Well I donít read into that because I just donít have time to go to computers. But yeah of course I hear stories - I get reports all of them and so forth. But it really doesnít matter to me. Iím happy that theyíre behind Manny.

Manny has a lot of Mexican fans because of the great fights heís fought with the great Mexican fighters.

And the rivalryís great between the Philippines and the Mexicans because of Manny Pacquiao. And Iím glad they have their support of course. But, you know, the bottom line is we just need to win this fight and thatís what Iím concerned with.

Bob Arum: And you also have to understand that Manny Pacquiao is more of a Mexican style figure than Oscar De La Hoya is or ever will be. So I think thatís the reason a lot of Mexican fighters who fight the Mexican style are supporting Manny.

But as Freddie indicates, this is not going to be decided by a vote. That electionís over. Itís going to be decided in the ring.

Ron Borges: Iím wondering youíve talked the Mayweather fight and De La Hoya abandoning the jab. What do you think - was that psychological in your opinion or was that physical in your opinion? Did he tire mentally or did he tire physically?

Freddie Roach: No itís a mistake Oscar made in the fight and weíre going to take advantage of it in our fight. Iím not going to tell you what it was but it was something that he started doing - it wasnít something Mayweather did. It was a mistake Oscar made and I know the mistake and I know it well. And we will take advantage of it.

Ron Borges: You donít what to share that with us, huh?

Freddie Roach: No because thatís how Iím going to take his jab away from him.

Ron Borges: Does he in your opinion though he has faded in some fights; he talks about it himself. How much of that do you is more losing mental focus than actually physically being (unintelligible)?

Freddie Roach: A hundred percent - 100% mental. He trains really, really hard. He runs well. He has great work ethic. He gets tired. Itís a mental issue. What it is specifically - I donít know.

Iíve had sports psychologists call me and offer to help Oscar with that problem. And I told Oscar and he just laughed at me. But it might be something to it.

Colin Seymour: My question pertains to Pernell Whitaker who was a smaller left hander who gave De La Hoya trouble. What can you draw from that fight and in what ways has Oscar improved since that fight?

Freddie Roach: Weíve been watching that fight a lot on tape to be honest with you. Thatís one of the key fights and I really donít think heís improved since then. I think heís gone the other way. I think with age we all get old and our reflexes get slower. Itís just part of life.

And I think heís not the fighter that fought Whitaker at the time and thatís why Iím so confident in this fight.

Patrick Kehoe: Hi Freddie. Question I had for you was regarding the fact of course Mannyís the smaller guy but probably at this point the quicker guy. The question I had was other than diet what are the sort of things that you are looking or sort of looking toward - what are your responsibilities with respect to getting him to match up with a bigger guy?

Freddie Roach: Weíre just going with his natural ability and speed. The thing is, a lot of people have put weight on with weightlifting and so forth. But that takes away from speed and speed is whatís going to win us the fight.

Weíre just maintaining where weíre at right now. Heís comfortable with the weight. The dietís the only thing weíre putting weight on (unintelligible) only thing weíve really changed in his routine is we add a little more protein to keep the weight on.

And itís working well and because I donít want him to get too small for this fight weíre going to weigh in at 147 and by fight time weíre going to be 150. Thatís all weíre going to weigh because I think anything bigger he will be sluggish.

Manny weighed 147-1/2 when he fought Diaz and his speed and power was still there. So I donít think itís really a problem. And our body fatís at 6% right now and itís going to be probably at 4-1/2 or 5% which is normal for Manny Pacquiao going into a fight. I donít see any problems.

************************************

HBOís Emmy-Award-winning all-access franchise ď24/7Ē returns with Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao in starring roles. The four-episode series ďDe La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7Ēpremieres This Sunday! Nov. 16th at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

ďThe Dream Match,Ē the welterweight collision between two of boxingís biggest attractions, Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion ďThe Golden BoyĒ OSCAR DE LA HOYA and current Ring Magazine No. 1-ranked pound for pound champion MANNY ďPacmanĒ PACQUIAO, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the bout will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., presented by Tequila Cazadores and sponsored by Ceverza Tecate, DeWalt Tools, Full Throttle Energy Drink, and Southwest Airlines, the fight sold out in hours, making it the second largest grossing gate in boxing history.

The De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast has a suggested retail price of $54.95, and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.

Article posted on 12.11.2008



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