MANILA—Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach made things clear: He’s had enough of Manny Pacquiao’s long trips and late-night basketball.
Roach said he wants the seven-division champion to conserve his energy and quit round-trip drives from Baguio to Manila and back, saying that even if Pacquiao sleeps in his car, “it is definitely tiring and won’t do him any good.”
Roach told the Inquirer after Pacquiao’s workout at the Shape Up Gym in Baguio City Tuesday that he wants to put an end to the Filipino ring icon’s basketball nights, which is often followed by missed roadwork the following morning.
“Tomorrow (today) is his last day playing basketball,” Roach said.
There has been growing concern on Pacquiao’s frequent trips to Manila, his nightly hoops and missed jogs. But the pound-for-pound champ dispelled concerns by showing up sharp for yesterday’s training session.
Two weekends ago Pacquiao drove down to Camp Aguinaldo to attend the PMA Alumni Association Family Sportsfest while last weekend he arrived in Manila to participate in a running event.
He arrived in Baguio City from that race past midnight on Monday, after also meeting with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and attending to some of his duties in Congress.
He skipped his morning jog but sparred seven rounds, four with undefeated Glen Tapia (7-0, 5 KOs) and three with the more experienced Michael Medina (24-2-2, 19 KOs).
Roach said the sparring was “good” and indicated Pacquiao was “doing fine.”
Pacquiao, Roach said, will spar later in the week with WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan, who has been training alongside the pound-for-pound king.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is scheduled to arrive in Manila on Saturday and will proceed to Baguio for a media preview with Pacquiao on Oct. 18.
Ronnie Nathanielsz, Phil. Daily Inquirer