Top boxing columnist King J had the honor of interviewing Team Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing gym in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, just two weeks before the biggest fight of the year: Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto.
The highly anticipated super mega fight is taking place on Nov. 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. King J asked for predictions on the upcoming fight from trainer Buboy Fernandez, Manny’s brother Bobby Pacquiao, Manny’s advisor Michael Koncz, and of course the legendary three time trainer of the year, head trainer Freddie Roach. King J asked Roach everything, from the recent HBO 24/7 drama, an official prediction of the Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight, Manny’s workout routine, to training UFC legends Andrei Arlovski, Anderson Silva, and BJ Penn.
A video of the interview has gained much popularity on YouTube titled: New Exclusive Interview with Team Pacquiao.
The following is a transcription of the interview with Roach.
King J: First of all how are you doing?
Freddie Roach: Everything’s good. Long day a little tired. I did 15 rounds of mitts with Manny Pacquiao and 10 right after that with Amir Khan so they keep me busy.
KJ: Nice. What would you say out of 100 percent is Manny both mentally and physically at this point?
KJ: Nighty-five percent both mentally and physically despite what the media is saying with all the distractions?
FR: We have distractions all the time, some me and Manny drive off of. Does distractions give us problems? No. We train every day, work every day, we work through typhoons, we do what we have to do.
KJ: Yes sir. I recall you said initially it would be a competitive fight and probably go almost the distance and then more recently you said Manny is going to blow away Cotto early on.
FR: The way Manny is punching right now in training camp and his power at this weight. I’ve never seen him hit harder. I feel he is going to knock Cotto out.
KJ: Can you give us a round sir?
FR: I am going to bet…one, nine, and 10.
KJ: Wow. Yeah you have been very, very great at picking the rounds. I remember you picked the David Diaz fight to the round. You also said you would be surprised if the fight with Ricky Hatton goes past the second round, and we all know how that story ended [laughs].
FR: Three...I did say three(Freddie smiles and holds up three fingers).
KJ: If you do not mind me asking, is your relationship with Manny as strong as can be, or was that a lot of HBO hype or are you able to comment on that?
FR: Oh no we had a little problem the day I wanted to leave with that typhoon and Manny came to his senses and called me at midnight that night and we hit the road. Luckily we did get out cause the typhoon did hit three days later and they did close down the roads again. We all had the attitude it’s not going to hit us. But it was real, and I felt I had a large responsibility with HBO being there, my sparring partners, and all the guys so I felt the safest thing was to get out and away from the storm. That was the decision that I made and by midnight Manny came to the same conclusion. I told him its midnight its late and to wait till the crack of down and he said no lets leave now so he left at midnight.
KJ: So that was pretty real then. Pretty accurate?
FR: Oh it’s all real. There’s nothing fake in that show. Nothing scripted.
KJ: You know Manny obviously has a lot of fans and you yourself have a lot of fans. I am a big fan of you. You are a big inspiration. I actually want to motivate a lot of people. A lot of people are big fans of Manny yet they themselves do not take the best care of themselves. Can you give like a general break down of a routine of Manny’s work out or road work so that might inspire others to work out and maybe replicate?
FR: Manny is a machine. Like this morning he ran 48 minutes up-hill the entire run. He averages about five and a half-minute miles going up steep hills and he’s a great runner. Then we came in the gym. He loosens up gets ready then we do 15 rounds of mitts, three rounds of double end bag, three rounds of the speed bag, three rounds of jump rope, six rounds of shadowboxing, then we did a photo shoot. Then sit ups of course.
KJ: How many sit ups does he do on average?
FR: Over a thousand. Thousand in the morning and another thousand at night.
KJ: A thousand in the morning and another thousand at night? Every day?
FR: Every day.
KJ: Push ups?
FR: Not that many push ups cause he has a bad shoulder. We need to be careful of that because push ups are bad for that. But he’s a machine. He averages 40 rounds a day most fighters don’t do 20. We will spar 12 rounds tomorrow and that will be our peak day and then we will taper off to 10 and then six rounds.
KJ: A quick question about MMA. You do train a couple of MMA fighters. With the ever growing popularity of MMA do you see yourself taking on more MMA fighters to train?
FR: Anyone that I can help be a better fighter I will. I can not teach them anything but boxing that’s all I know. That’s all I can teach them. The stand up part of MMA I like a lot I think its action packed, but when they get on the ground and wrestle…I’m not such a fan of. I know there’s a science to it. Two guys wrestling on the floor…naw.
KJ: Andre Arlovski you trained him. Obviously you train him just on the boxing side .
FR: (A big grin on Freddie’s Face) Andre Arlovski, Anderson Silva, Penn, I just teach and train them how to fight stand up that’s all I really know and that’s the most exciting part of MMA, stand up.
KJ: Right, absolutely I agree with you. Do you think Silva and Roy Jones will actually fight and if they do?
FR: I hope so. Anderson Silva he comes into my gym and he sparred with my guys a couple of times. He’s really not a gym fighter. He gives you about 40% but when he really wants to turn it on he can fight. I think he has a shot. Roy Jones might be a little too much for him but I like to see it.
KJ: Is there any final words you like to say to your fans? Like I said I don’t know if you know but you do have a lot of fans out there.
FR: Thanks for all of the support. Thanks for treating me so well in the Philippines. You are the greatest. I love the Philippines and I plan to retire there.
KJ: Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. God Bless.
FR: No problem.