LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao spent what was supposed to be a day-off into something worthwhile when he worked out for the very last time Thursday, two days before what millions think will be a date with destiny.
Legacy and a chance to claim the title of being the best fighter of his generation are at stake when he faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand on Saturday in what many expect will be the highest-grossing boxing bout in history.
So Pacquiao went to work when he should be relaxing and plotting strategy with his trainer Freddie Roach.
“It was just a short and very light workout,” said Roach, who revealed that Pacquiao didn’t have to show up for work as he has already mastered the game plan and only needs to execute it.
But as in the past, Pacquiao ordered his men to join him at the Top Rank Gym on the eve of the official weigh in even if he was still neck-deep with a myriad of media commitments by early-afternoon.
Still, Pacquiao brought Roach and conditioning coach Justin Fortune to the Top Rank Gym on Dean Martin Street for the last-minute training during which several fans were allowed to watch him do his thing.
He shadow boxed, hit mitts, rehearsed his footwork and he perspired a lot doing so.
Roach was a picture of a happy man, looking as though the only thing needed for Pacquiao to win is show up at the venue, the MGM Grand Arena, where 16,000 are expected to attend what many believe will be the richest fight in history.
“He knows what to do,” Roach told reporters who fielded questions laced with concerns and worries.
“I like where he is at right now and we have all the bases covered.”
What if Mayweather decides to get unsportsmanlike and uses his elbows?
“I have told Manny what to do in case Floyd does that and we have a good referee in Kenny Bayless who I will talk to before the fight,” Roach said.
Mayweather is not known to fight dirty but he has a history of being ungentlemanly.
A few years back, Mayweather sucker-punched Victor Ortiz during what appeared to be a break in the action and Ortiz was knocked out. Mayweather was criticized doing this although it was legal.
Referee Joe Cortez then counted out Ortiz, who was blamed for not following one of boxing’s cardinal rules: protect yourself at all times.
“That’s why I told Manny ‘don’t trust this guy,’’’ added Roach.