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Pacquiao a better fighter

Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach

LOS ANGELES – The back-to-back losses suffered by Manny Pacquiao in 2012 actually made him a better fighter, according to the Filipino icon’s Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

As time winds down towards May 2 in Las Vegas, where Pacquiao attempts to become the first fighter to deal Floyd Mayweather his first loss in 48 fights, Roach believes the split decision win by Tim Bradley and the one-punch knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez was an eye-opener.

“Mayweather’s undefeated but he remains the same, while we learned (new things) from those two losses (to Bradley and Marquez),” said Roach.

The twin mishaps even made Pacquiao realize things that he shouldn’t have realized during his impressive win streak, stressed Roach.

Despite the setbacks, Pacquiao remains on top of the game and Roach feels he has matured and won’t commit the mistakes of the past, especially next week at the MGM Grand.

Besides, Mayweather is not a guy who has one-punch knockout power although Roach insists the 38-year-old is not a feather-fisted puncher either.
“He’s not a bad puncher but he doesn’t have one-punch KO power,” said Roach.

Still, Roach is not asking Pacquiao to bore in without protection.

“We won’t just go inside and throw punches,” notes Roach, adding “we won’t fall into his traps.”

Mayweather is a tricky fighter to deal with.

While he is not the type who looks and forces a knockout, Mayweather remains dangerous and explosive if left unchecked.

Roach acknowledges that Mayweather “has a very good (straight) right hand,” a punch so sneaky his opponents had trouble evading it many times in the past.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao will leave for Sin City Monday afternoon after his final training session at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Instead of the traditional grand arrival rites that has become so ordinary and lame, Pacquiao will stage his own Q&A with the media on Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay, and not at the MGM Grand, the host hotel.

Pacquiao’s event begins at 11 a.m. followed by Mayweather’s formal arrival at the MGM Grand at 3 p.m.