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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pacquiao doing fine – Roach

Freddie Roach initially thought Mike Alvarado, an unbeaten super-lightweight from Denver, would give Manny Pacquiao fits in sparring.

Alvarado proved Roach wrong when Pacquiao finally got his hands in their initial encounter at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Tuesday afternoon.

“He (Alvarado) was nervous,” Roach told the Bulletin on a day when Pacquiao didn’t show up for training as the Filipino instead went to San Pedro, California, for the usual medical tests required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the May 2 fight with Ricky Hatton of England at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Alvarado’s arrival had been much-anticipated since Pacquiao had been toying with every sparring partner thrown against him every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

A former wrestling star, Alvarado has a 25-0 win-loss record with 18 knockouts, including his last five fights, and is being groomed for stardom, having been signed by no less than Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum to beef up Top Rank’s galaxy of stars.

Roach said Pacquiao sparred three rounds with Alvarado then racked up three each from lightweight prospect Urbano Antillon and 19-year-old Philly welterweight Raymond Serrano, who has a 9-0 ledger with five stoppages.

Also on call is David Rodela, a perennial Pacquiao sparmate.

On Thursday (Friday in Manila), Pacquiao will do 10 rounds, according to Roach, who remains optimistic that Hatton will not go past three rounds when the rugged Briton finally gets a taste of Pacquiao’s blinding speed and paralyzing (left hand) power.

Although Pacquiao didn’t report for training on Wednesday, Roach said he did his early-morning roadwork under the strict supervision of strength coach and nutritionist Alex Ariza and Michael Moorer, who is Roach’s eyes and ears whenever he is not in Pacquiao’s presence.

“Manny’s doing fine and he’s where I like him to be at this time,” said Roach, noting that his ward tips the scales at 147 lbs.

With a little over three weeks remaining before the match, Pacquiao has enough time to get down to the agreed weight limit of 140 lbs, a weight class that Pacquiao has never fought in.

Still, Roach is upbeat that 140 lbs will be Pacquiao’s perfect weight class and that he’d be deadlier at this level.


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