By NICK GIONGCO, Manila Bulletin
Even though there appears to be a slight delay in the progress of Manny Pacquiao’s buildup, Freddie Roach is not about to press the panic button.
Three weeks before D-Day in Dallas against Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13, Roach remains upbeat that the Filipino pound-for-pound will regain lost ground when he kicks off the final and most crucial phase of his training beginning Monday (Tuesday in Manila) at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
“Too many distractions here (in the Philippines) and LA will have no distractions whatsoever,” said Roach on Saturday afternoon just hours before he and Pacquiao boarded a Philippine Airlines bound for Los Angeles.
Pacquiao and his team was welcomed at LAX International by a large crowd upon their arrival and the fighter will have one full day to recharge his batteries for the most pivotal part of his preparation.
Roach’s heartbeat is racing because he will once again work under familiar conditions, unlike during his month-long stay here that saw him getting upset by Pacquiao’s antics.
Even during the last sparring session just before they left for the US, Pacquiao was still in a playful mood against his sparring partners, something Roach believes won’t be the case once he starts working out at the Wild Card.
“We have three weeks coming and I don’t see any problems,” said Roach, who could not hide his displeasure with the way things happened in Baguio and in Manila.
“This has gone a little bit overboard with the trips coming down from Baguio to Manila and so forth, and it doesn’t seem like much when you do it on your day-off but it’s really a draining trip, a dangerous drive even,” said Roach, who had wanted that the final sparring be done behind closed doors.
With some members of the media and acquaintances of friends being allowed entry into the Elorde Gym, Pacquiao could not help but take it nice and easy.