MACAU – Freddie Roach swears that Manny Pacquiao is a changed man.
“I am not sure what it is exactly (about him),” Roach said on Saturday after attending the rules meeting following the official weighin for Sunday’s face-off against Chris Algieri at the Cotai Arena.
That “something about” Pacquiao has led Roach to believe that the Filipino southpaw has been reborn like the 22-year-old kid who showed up at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood looking for a new trainer 13 years ago.
“There is something in him that has made him train and behave like the old days,” said Roach.
Even Pacquiao acknowledges what Roach sees the last two months while they were holding their daily workouts in General Santos City in the Philippines.
“It feels like the old days with Freddie,” said Pacquiao, who has logged a 29-3-2 (win-loss-draw) record with 15 KOs under Roach.
Told that the hefty paycheck of $23 million could be the reason why Pacquiao is making him smile every day, Roach brushed it off.
“Money? No,” he said.
Roach said Pacquiao is “very generous” and the fact that he flew in 350 people from the Philippines on two charter flights of budget airline AirAsia is proof the boxer doesn’t care about money.
“Money is not an issue (with Pacquiao),” Roach said.
With Pacquiao acting like the one who sported a mop-top hairdo in 2001, Roach doesn’t want to do anything that could mess up the fighter’s current mental state.
“I am leaving him alone. I don’t want to change it.”
Bad news for Algieri. (Nick Giongco)