by Nick Giongco
Freddie Roach swears Manny Pacquiao is starting to get into the groove but the Hall of Fame trainer remains bothered by plans to leave for Brisbane ten days before–and not 14 days–as he was hoping for to get used to the wintry conditions there.
Pacquiao is billed to defend his world welterweight crown on July 2 against Jeff Horn at the open-air Suncorp Stadium and Roach is kind of concerned about one more facet of the buildup.
“Manny’s sparring partners are not bad but once Manny hurts them, he starts holding back,” said Roach, who is hoping that fresher guys start reporting for duty to beef up the workouts now that Pacquiao is entering the most crucial stage of the preparations.
Last week, Roach was so disenchanted with the sparring that he told a handful of fight scribes that It’s been years since he saw Pacquiao look very ordinary in training.
But after holding two more sessions during the past week, “Pacquiao was much better,” said the 57-year-old Roach.
Still, Roach is still not sold with the present setup when asked about the training venue, saying he’d rather travel to Australia now where the temperature is beginning to drop.
By the time Team Pacquiao sets foot Down Under, the daytime high will be around 20 degrees Celsius and as low as 9 degrees in the night-time and early morning.
While it’s starting to rain in Metro Manila, the daytime temperature has been punishing because of the humidity.
These are Roach’s worries apart from the length of travel to Brisbane from Manila as there are no direct flights available unless they get a private plane.
To get to Brisbane from Manila, the best option is to fly Singapore Airlines (via Changi) or Philippine Airlines (via Darwin) and the trip is going to take a minimum of nine hours.
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