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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Freddie Roach believes Manny Pacquiao's perfection in sparring can translate to a knockout success over Ricky Hatton on Saturday night.

Filipino Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs) faces Britain's Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a light-welterweight contest for the Englishman's IBO and Ring Magazine titles.

According to his trainer, as boxing's pound-for-pound best fighter prepares to continue where he left off with a resounding welterweight victory over Oscar De la Hoya last December, he has been looking in his finest form yet during his final sparring session at Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.

"He's been the best I've ever seen him in training camp," Roach said.

"He was so sharp. Everything we worked on for the game plan just happened.

"He fought like four perfect rounds, just like I expected him to do in the fight.

"It was really good to see, I was so happy. He came back to the corner, I gave him a drink of water and I didn't even have to say anything to him.

"I just said 'You looked pretty good Manny'," Roach recalled with a laugh.

"That was about it."

That, said Roach, does not bode well for Hatton, whom he expects will be a game and valiant loser.

"I'm very confident in my guy but Ricky will try. He'll still get knocked out but he'll get knocked out trying."

Roach said Pacquiao was in the best shape of his life as he prepared to fight at 130lbs for just the third time in his long career.

"This is the best he's looked," the trainer said.

"There's one thing about Manny Pacquiao, the weight issue. Making weight (at 130) was always a struggle. When Manny can't eat he's a miserable person.

"He's nasty, he's not nice to be around and I remember being there with fighters that can't eat.

"Right now, he eats whatever he wants, he will not miss a meal.

"He'll have breakfast before the weigh-in and he'll weigh in at 140lbs and he'll be happy.

"And when Manny's happy, that's when he'll be at his best."


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