PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — FREDDIE Roach hasn’t seen Manny Pacquiao so focused in training while preparing for a major fight.
And so he’s also doing his own end of the bargain.
Roach ordered the Wild Card gym off limits to people who has no business while Pacquiao trains for his December 6 showdown with Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When Roach said nobody’s been allowed in, he did mean it.
“We completely closed the Wild Card gym. I’m asking his friends to leave. I’m asking my assistant trainers who are not working with this fighter to leave. The only people who are in the gym are the people who have a job, people who are working with Manny, sparring partners, coaches. That’s all,” said Roach when interviewed by GMANews.TV.
Along with Solar Sports, GMA will be the official coveror of Pacquiao’s 12-round welterweight fight with De La Hoya.
The 29-year-old Filipino southpaw has so far been doing good in training camp, which Roach referred to as the ‘most focused’ he’d ever seen the Pacman.
“This is the most focused Manny I’ve ever seen without a doubt. Ever. And I’m pleased with that,” Roach stressed.
Pacquiao himself revealed in his popular blog that after sparring began in his camp last Tuesday, his team will now start running uphill at Griffith Park where the famous Hollywood sign can be found, to help build up his strength and stamina.
After sparring for four rounds with prospective welterweight Rashod Holloway the other day, Pacquiao did 12 rounds on the mitts yesterday and had a full workout studying the strategies for the Filipino’s biggest fight ever.
Roach said the three-time world champion feels a little bit sore after the training session, but ‘he’ll get over that tomorrow.’
The Hall of Fame trainer said more house rules will be implemented as their scheduled eight-week training progresses.
And that includes keeping their preparation closed-door, even from big media outfits such as ESPN and HBO.
“They have to make an appointment,” said Roach. “I’ll them film the first day of sparring, but that’s the last day of sparring anyone will see until the fight, because I just want to give them a taste of what Manny’s up to.
“After this, the succeeding sparring sessions will be closed-door. 100 percent.”
Being the most popular figure to have come out of the Wild Card gym, Pacquiao usually trains before a jampacked crowd that Roach even had to administer the service of a bodyguard to keep things in proper order.
He has since tried limiting the entry of people in all Pacquiao training since his 12-round loss to Eric Morales in their first meeting.
“I’ve learned my lesson about letting people in and we’ve been cutting back more and more each fight,” said Roach.
And De La Hoya being his biggest opponent yet, Roach wants Pacquiao to train in seclusion even if it meant not meeting his friends.
“This is the biggest fight of Manny’s life so this is really, really a strict, strict training camp,” said Roach.