While Manny Pacquiao and his celebrated trainer Freddie Roach have both confessed that Pacquiao’s marital problems prior to his third fight
against Juan Manuel Marquez in which he won a controversial decision took its toll on Pacquiao, this time around Roach says “his focus is very good.”
As Pacquiao winds down a hard week of sparring in which he is expected to go twelve furious rounds on Thursday at the Wild Card Gym, Roach told the international media in a conferece call that they dont have days when Pacquiao “comes in tired and so forth because he has no nightlife whatsoever, beside bible study. He is very focused on the fight. He and God are very close right now and he is just a better athlete – with no distractions.”
Pacquiao conducts his Bible study every evening after his workouts with Pastor Jeric Soriano who is his spiritual mentor.
Asked whether he was concerned that the same-sex marriage comments or non-comments by Pacquiao would be a distraction, Roach replied that everyone is entitled to our opinions, but I see no problem whatsoever. ”
When Pacquiao was asked about whether he expected the firestorm over the same-sex marriage statement he made the eight division world champion said “Yes. It’s a controversial issue. The reporter asked me about my stance on it and I answered his question. I am against legalizing same-sex marriage. That was all I said.”
On the issue of whether his commitment to religion reflect on his fighting in the ring, Pacquiao said “When I committed my life to the lord I gave up many things that were not in keeping with what the Bible teaches. Boxing is a job and I do not look at it as anything more than that. It will not affect my job.”
Having been impressed with Pacquiao’s tremendous sparring over eleven rounds on Tuesday in which he demonstrated his incredible hand-speed, power and ability to turn it on whenever he wished with furious combinations, Roach confidently predicted that Pacquiao “is fired up and ready to go. ”
Roach said ” He is motivated. We have had great workouts and sparring sessions. We had four new sparring partners that came in for this camp. Everything is right where it is supposed to be.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who visited Pacquiao while he was training said “From somebody who has visited the training camp a few times, the difference in Manny’s face is so apparent. He’s not as tired as he was and he’s not as worn as he was. There is a glow in his face.
Arum added ” I think this religious awakening has been all good on his part. I am a little prejudiced because I am religious myself but I believe when young athletes find religion it will greatly enhance their careers.”