Based on trainer Freddie Roach’s recent mitt workout with his fighter Manny Pacquiao, he’s moved his original prediction of Pacquiao stopping Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) by the 6th round to Pacquiao stopping him by the 4th round. Roach brags that Pacquiao was hitting the mitts so well that he had to stop the mitt work after just four rounds.
It sounds good but Roach was also bragging about how Pacquiao had his best camps in his last two training camps, and we saw what happened with Pacquiao with him losing to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. It just gives you the impression that Roach is like a promoter with the way he builds up Pacquiao, and he ends up with egg on his face when Pacquiao fails to look like the fighter that he once was 4 years ago.
Roach said “We were supposed to do six rounds on the mitts and I cut it off after four rounds. They were the best four rounds of mitts I have ever done with Manny. This was the happiest and most productive camp I have had with Manny in years. I know I predicted that Manny would knock Rios out inside six rounds but based on our last workout, I don’t see how Rios makes it past the fourth round.”
No one has been questioning Pacquiao’s speed and power. Those things are obviously still there. Where fans have questions about Pacquiao is with his stamina, his ability to take a shot, and his reflexes. He wasn’t just dropped once in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, although fans seem to think it was just one knockdown. Pacquiao was dropped twice in that fight, and he looked slowly in reacting to a right hand from Marquez in the 3rd round that put him on the canvas. I don’t care how good Pacquiao is hitting the mitts, if he can’t take a hard right hand without kissing the canvas, then what’s the point. I’m sure Roach can find 100 fighters that hit the mitts well, but finding guys that can take a punch without dropping to the canvas, that’s a different story.
Roach and Pacquiao are going to have a huge problem on their hands this Saturday night if Rios is still around after the 4th round because that’s going to mean that Pacquiao is going to be taking a lot of head shots from Rios, and that’s a risky situation given how badly Pacquiao was knocked out last December by Marquez.