by Nick Giongco
Manila, Philippines – During the long-haul flight from Los Angeles, Freddie Roach thought about the well-being of his No. 1 fighter, wondering whether he will find somebody who remains committed to his craft or someone who has completely lost it.
Roach had many fears in his mind and was obviously in a hurry to find the answers to these nagging questions.
Hours after his arrival in the country, Roach immediately knew that the 16-hour journey was worth it.
Presiding over Pacquiao’s training in General Santos City yesterday afternoon, Roach told the Bulletin that the 34-year-old Filipino southpaw, who will be making a comeback against Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau, continues to exhibit the traits of a fighter who has a lot left in the tank.
“His power is still there,” said Roach after doing the mitts with Pacquiao for the first time in almost a year.
The last time they were together, Roach saw Pacquiao get hammered by the furious fist of Juan Manuel Marquez.
The loss was so devastating that many thought that the end of an era had finally come.
But Roach believes there is still a lot of fight left in Pacquiao and that he is looking forward to resurrection come fight night.
Roach was on hand when Pacquiao sparred six rounds in sparring and he was on the receiving end of Pacquiao’s thunderous punches as well during the padwork.
Roach’s arrival comes six weeks before the Rios showdown and the 53-year-old Hall of Fame cornerman has kept on telling Pacquiao during yesterday’s workout about the magnitude of the fight even if he continues to sound like a broken record.
“I always tell him that we need to put on an impressive win so we can get back to the top,” said Roach.
But taking care of Rios won’t be easy, Roach admits.
“He’s got a great chin and he is strong.”
In the next few weeks, Pacquiao and Roach will join hands and discuss the blueprint of Rios’ downfall.
Losing is not an option.