Roach: Pacquiao doesn't realize how hard retirement is
LAS VEGAS, USA - Trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t think Manny Pacquiao fully realizes what life after boxing is like.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) dropped Timothy Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) twice en route to a dominant unanimous decision win in their third fight against each other. Roach, who has trained Pacquiao since 2001, says he supports Pacquiao in whatever decision he makes regarding his future but says that the allure of the sport can be hard to resist.
“I’m not really sure if he’s gonna retire yet. It’s a difficult sport to quit. It’s really, really hard to retire. I think he hasn’t realized that yet but he will soon,” Roach said at the post-fight press conference on Saturday, April 9 (US time).
Pacquiao, 37, had said before the fight that he would retire afterwards to focus on his political career as he seeks a seat in the Philippine Senate in the general elections on May 9. But Pacquiao seemed to acknowledge after the fight that he was entering unknown territory, having been a pro boxer since 1995.
“Let me enjoy first a retired life. If you ask me about comeback, I don’t know because I might enjoy retired life,” said Pacquiao, who refused to be baited about questions over whether he would come back for a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Roach, who fought professionally from 1978 to 1986, liked what he saw from Pacquiao in the third fight against Bradley. Bradley was dropped in rounds 7 and 9 as Pacquiao ramped up his intensity. He thinks Pacquiao has rediscovered some of what made him a crossover star during the late 2000s.
“For awhile he said he just has to beat his opponents, he doesn’t have to knock them out. But he looked like he was looking for a knockout because when he hurt Bradley he went after him and really tried to knock him out,” said Roach.
“I told him you still have a lot of fight left in you. You haven’t slowed down a bit, he hasn’t really shown signs of wear and tear. I think he’s looked better than he has in a long time. When I see Manny aggressive like that, that’s the best Manny Pacquiao. That’s when he’s at his best.”
Pacquiao has won world titles in a record 8 weight classes and was fighting for the first time since his May 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao says he felt rejuvenated by the 11 month layoff. Roach thinks he saw something in Pacquiao’s approach to the fight which may signal a fighting future for Pacquiao.
“I saw him smile quite a bit in the ring tonight. That shows me how much he loves the sport,” said Roach.
“He was really happy with what he was doing. It wasn’t complete comeback for Manny Pacquiao but it was a good first step. I like that he was aggressive. When he hurt his opponent he went after him and did what he was supposed to do.”
Roach says he will not be following Pacquiao into retirement as he focuses on building his upcoming fighters, which WBC junior welterweight champion Viktor Postol and 2012 US Olympian Jose Ramirez, the latter of whom fought on Saturday's undercard.
"I’m not ready to retire yet. I don’t have enough hobbies and I don’t have anything to fall back on." – Rappler.com