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article imageOp-Ed: Why Manny Pacquiao lags behind in training for the Horn fight

By Leo Reyes     May 24, 2017 in Sports
Manny Pacquiao's longtime trainer Freddie Roach could not hide his disappointment over the slow pace of Pacquiao's ongoing training for his upcoming fight against Jeff Horn on July 2 at the Suncorp Arena in Brisbane, Australia.
Roach, who arrived in Manila Sunday to supervise Pacquiao's training camp at the Elorde Gym near his senate offices in Pasay City, said Pacquiao is far behind on his training schedule.
“We are far behind. Those five rounds of sparring were the worst I have seen him spar,” said Roach, who flew in from the US with Pacquiao's conditioning coach Justin Fortune and newfound Australian friend Michelle Doble.
But why is Pacquiao not keeping pace with the schedule set for the first phase of his training which was handled by assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez?
Seemingly, Roach and Fernandez know exactly why Pacquiao is lagging behind but there is not much they can do to correct the situation immediately.
The truth is that Pacquiao is very much distracted in his training as shown in the way he moves when he started sparring sessions in the presence of Roach.
The distraction emanates from his sworn duty as Philippine senator requiring him to be present in committee meetings and senate sessions for most part of the day which usually drags on until late afternoons. When it is time to do gym works and sparring sessions in early evening, he is already physically and mentally drained.
It must be recalled that Pacquiao made a commitment to the electorate to attend all sessions in the senate as part of his campaign plan. So far he has kept his words and it seems he will continue to fulfill his duties in the senate until the last session day on May 31.
Roach and Pacquiao will move to General Santos City with the camp starting June 1 and will remain there for about two weeks before flying to Brisbane for the final phase of training.
The seven-time Trainer of the Year is aware of Pacquiao's limitations at this time but he needs to catch up when they move over to General Santos for sessions with new sparring partners who are expected to join the camp in a few days.
While Pacquiao isn't taking Horn lightly, he needs to be in top shape for the fight as Horn is determined to snatch his WBO welterweight belt with a possible upset.
After the official fight announcement, Roach wanted a knockout win over Horn and for sure he really wants Pacquiao to go for it but he also realized that Horn is capable of pulling off the upset, having stopped three capable opponents in his recent fights.
“The guy’s got two hands, two feet and power,” he said. “Horn stopped his last three opponents (Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller, Randall Bailey). I don’t care if they were contenders or not or whatever. Those were three live bodies and Horn took care of them. I know the fans will pack the stadium for the fight but I also know they’re coming for Manny, not Horn.”
Roach's statement about Pacquiao falling behind on schedule is understandable because he is aware of the opportunity for Pacquiao to score his first knockout win in eight years and that could only happen if Pacquiao is in top shape on fight night.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, Senate, jeff horn
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