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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Roach’s game plan: Take out Hatton’s focus

MANILA, Philippines – Freddie Roach has the work all cut out for Manny Pacquiao in his light-welterweight fight with Ricky Hatton.

Aware Hatton is not exactly a “patient fighter", Roach said the thing to do is frustrate the Englishman champion and let him abandon their fight plan.

Once that happens, it’s going to be short night for him and his trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.

“We’ll go out there and box this guy, frustrate him, he can’t find us. He’ll see a second chance and start swinging from far away, no problem," said Roach.

“Mayweather might try to come out with the job and box a little bit, but as soon as he’s get hit, he’ll come forward just like he’s trained to do and lives to do the whole life. He will walk into combinations until he’s knocked out."

The three-time Trainer of the Year likened the 30-year old Hatton to a young Pacquiao, who likes to always come forward and slug it out with his opponent.

While the Filipino ring icon remains one of the world’s most exciting fighters with his gung-ho style of fighting, Roach said Pacquiao has developed into a better, all-around boxer through the years.

“We’ll not to fight the typical Manny Pacquiao fight where we go forward. Pacquiao has progress beyond that. He knows how to fight both ways now," said the 49-year old trainer.

“Come on, forward angle and backwards. This is going to be different because this guy has strength for style."

Roach said they’re ready whatever Hatton, the reigning International Boxing Organization (IBO) light-welterweight champion, brings on the table but cautions the native of Manchester, England not to fall to Pacquiao’s traps.

“We’ll be initiating moves, but the tempo will all be up to him. If he wants to come forward, we’ll let him come in to our traps. If he wants to come, we’ll walk him in," he said.

Eight weeks of intense training under him has groomed Pacquiao for his first fight in 2009 and Roach can’t seem to get ready for the fight to happen.

Asked if the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter is already one hundred percent ready, Roach didn’t have a hard time groping for words.

“Yes, he said emphatically. “The reason why we will win this fight is because I have the better fighter." – GMANews.TV


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