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Roach: Manny on fire

Things played out according to plan yesterday at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood where Manny Pacquiao is getting himself ready for Floyd Mayweather on May 2.

Wild Card guru Freddie Roach was all smiles after emerging from the off-limits-to-the-media first floor gym.

“I’m very happy with what he showed me. You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since the (Chris) Algieri fight in November. Manny is on fire in the gym,” said the 55-year-old Hall of Fame trainer.

Even the Filipino eight-division champion gave himself an A.

“After 13 days of strength and conditioning and boxing drills at Wild Card plus weeks more of working out in the Philippines, it was great to finally put on the headgear and spar.”

“My sparring partners gave me good work today,” said the 36-year-old Pacquiao, who has won three straight fights since being stopped by Juan Manuel Marquez in late-2002.

“They were perfect for testing the strategy Freddie and I have developed to beat Floyd Mayweather,” he added.

With the sparring phase on, Pacquiao will get his taste for intense workouts on Thursday and Saturdays aside from Tuesdays.

Roach has been extra-strict for this training camp knowing that there is no place for error against a master fighter like Mayweather.

Even the punch mitts session have been off-limits to the media and it seems that would be the tone for the rest of the buildup unless Roach has a change of heart in the final weeks leading up to the fight.

Pacquiao is a 2-1 underdog against Mayweather, who is regarded as the best in the world pound for pound.

But Mayweather’s gap is getting narrower as big money has poured in favoring Pacquiao that there is a likelihood that the odds might end up even by fight night.