Three-time boxing Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach has just arrived back in LA to his prized Wild Card Gym from training Amir Khan to a 5th round technical decision against the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester, England.
Roach stated that Khan and the sports' number-one pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao, have become good friends. According to Roach, Khan looks up to Pacquiao. He states they run together, spar together, and that Manny has become a role model of sorts for Khan since they began to train together for last year's Dream Match with Oscar De La Hoya.
Roach feels Pacquiao is leaving a positive impression on the younger fighter about what it takes to be a true champion. He also feels Khan may be ready to take on a champion himself soon.
He feels Khan is ready for any fighter in the lightweight division right now other than Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao. One fighter he sees Khan ready for a fight with, is Joel Casamayor.
Now that Roach is back at the Wild Card Gym he can resume his position as the lead trainer in Pacquiao's training camp for his fight with Ricky Hatton. Former heavweight champion Michael Moorer was left in charge of Pacquiao's training camp while Roach was gone for two weeks training Amir Khan in England.
Roach stated that Pacquiao did 15 rounds on the punch mitts on Monday and was said to be doing real well while Roach was left tired.
Pacquiao will beginning sparring Tuesday and go four rounds with a tough 147 lb Armenian sparring partner.
Rashad Halloway, one of the main sparring partners of Pacquiao for the Dream Match, stated Manny's speed will be too much for Ricky Hatton; who's defense is suspect and predictable. Halloway was correct in his prediction of a late stoppage of Oscar.
A lot of smack talk has been going on between both Ricky's camp and Manny's camp. Much of this tension originated back when Oscar De La Hoya decided to hire Freddie Roach in place of Floyd Mayweather Sr. as his trainer when fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since then, Floyd Sr. has been dissing Freddie Roach; often times in the form of cheesy raps and poems.
Ricky Hatton himself has claimed that he will knock Pacquiao out in 6 rounds.
Roach answered back, "We're going to knock him out in three".
Roach has been known to predict the exact round for Pacquiao to knock out his opponents. With the David Diaz fight I personally put money on the round that Roach was predicting a KO, and I bought myself a few nice things with that winning money. One thing was an autographed Roy Jones Jr plaque. However, knocking out the Hitman in three rounds would be stretch in my opinion.
I feel the fight will be tough one. An all-out war for the first four rounds or so. Roach is always great at getting the best sparring partners; who best replicate the opponent his fighter is facing. I feel that is definitely the best thing a fighter can do in training, spar numerous rounds with sparring partners who best replicate your opponents style.
KING J's Official Prediciton:
The fact that this fight is taking place in Las Vegas and not in Hatton's backyard where he can get away with murder trying to wrestle with Manny is good for Pacquiao.
If this fight gets a good ref who doesn't allow much holding, clinching and nonsense, then I see a late-round stoppage by the Pac Man either by cuts on Ricky's face, or if Hatton goes back to his old reckless ways, I see a David Diaz ending.