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Freddie Roach is unsure whether Manny Pacquiao is staging his swan song or not on April 9 although all signs lead to that.
“I personally don’t know if this will be Manny’s last fight but he is training like it’s going to be his last fight,” said Roach during a break in training at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood where master and student are getting ready to face Tim Bradley.
If Pacquiao, 37, is indeed dead-serious in declaring that the third fight with Bradley will be his final fight, Roach feels the eight-division world champion will surely close it out with a bang.
“If this is going to be his swan song I know he wants to go out blazing with a spectacular performance,” said Roach, who spent the first half of the eight-week buildup in General Santos City.
“If the opportunity for a knockout presents itself during the fight, he’s going to go for it. He knows how to close the show and he wants this show closed with fireworks. He wants to finish the book on his boxing career with a spectacular ending.”
But Roach maintains that Pacquiao is far from finished and even if he wins a seat in the Senate during the May elections, he can still afford to return to the ring.
“I do think Manny has more quality fights in him. His power, speed, work ethic are still superior to most others,” said the 56-year-old Hall of Fame trainer.
Pacquiao is the clear favorite going into the scheduled 12-rounder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena but Bradley, who is parading a new trainer in Teddy Atlas believes he has morphed into a different fighter.
Aside from the major change in his corner, Bradley has dumped his vegan diet and now consumes protein-rich food from time to time to strengthen his bones and muscles, factors that saw him suffer leg and ankle injuries in his previous skirmishes with Pacquiao.
Coupled with Atlas’ keen eyes, the 32-year-old Bradley thinks he has made himself a much better fighter than the fellow who showed up to face Pacquiao in 2012 and 2014.
Meanwhile, the Nevada Athletic Commission has named the officials who will work the fight.
Robert Byrd, the third man in the ring during the first encounter, will be the referee again, The judges are Burt Clements and Dave Moretti, veteran Las Vegas officials, and Steve Weisfeld of New Jersey.