Jessie Vargas is getting help from the same man credited for bringing Juan Manuel Marquez back from the dead.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach revealed Tuesday night that conditioning coach Angel Heredia has been spotted giving a hand to Vargas as the Mexican-American gets ready to rumble with Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
Barely 12 hours after arriving in Manila, Roach was back in the gym alongside Jose Ramirez, who has been tapped to serve as Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner the next four weeks.
“I saw a picture of Vargas and he looks big,” said Roach, his eyes lighting up and using his hands to show that Vargas is beginning to bulk up.
But Roach didn’t sound at all bothered that Vargas has decided to hook up with Heredia, whose work with a fading Marquez four years ago produced a one-punch knockout of Pacquiao.
Even strength coach Justin Fortune, sent here by Roach to check on Pacquiao’s progress at the Elorde Gym in the vast Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, is likewise not alarmed.
“He (Vargas) can work with God and he doesn’t beat Manny,” said Fortune, noting that Marquez, bloodied and battered before coming up with a perfect counter punch, is on a different level than Vargas.
Fortune explains that performance-enhancing drugs, whether legit or not, works wonders on fighters who are naturally strong.
“Vargas’ not a big puncher so the effect on him is going to be minimal,” added Fortune.
Pacquiao only made Roach feel even more relieved after their four-round padwork.
“He’s strong as ever,” Roach told Fortune as soon as the mitts session ended with Pacquiao throwing his usual dazzling combinations to the head and body.
Even Ramirez, who is about the same height as Vargas, could not help but marvel at Pacquiao’s conditioning after their four-round sparring session.
“He’s still fast and whenever he puts on those combinations is when you get in trouble because if he just uses his left hand, he becomes a bit predictable,” said the unbeaten Ramirez, who was also here in late-2014 when Pacquiao prepared for Chris Algieri.