LOS ANGELES – World pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao stand to earn $25 million or thereabout in his fight for a record eighth boxing title against Mexico’s Antonio Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 13.
This as award-winning coach Freddie Roach disclosed he won’t stand in the way should Pacquiao decides to retire shortly after his Nov. 13 title fight.
Roach said he has accepted the fact that politics now takes most of Pacquiao’s time as Sarangani congressman .
The American coach said that sooner or later, he knows the Filipino southpaw would hang up his gloves and concentrate on his work as a public servant.
His ward has started training at the Wild Card gym. He will do his usual run up in Griffith Park
Pacquiao said he was happy to be at the gym and in Los Angeles again.
The Filipino boxing icon started the week attending mass at the Christ the King church in Los Angeles.
In his usual self, he said he prayed for the safety of boxers, including Margarito, during their fight in Texas..
“I pray for the safety of everybody not only for myself but for all those who are fighting that night…” he added.
Roach said he’ll advise the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter to give up the sport if Pacquiao will ask his opinion about it.
“I would tell him to call it a day,” said Roach after spending the last four weeks helping Pacquiao get in shape at his high-altitude training camp in Baguio City.
“I believe that if that’s where his heart is, then, that’s where it is,” stressed the four-time Trainer of the Year. “You know, if he beats Antonio Margarito, it would be his eighth world title. And what more would he have to accomplish?”
The remarks made by the celebrated 50-year-old trainer came in the midst of a BBC World Service interview – which saw print at PJ – wherein Roach indicated that retirement now beckons on the 31-year-old Filipino boxing icon.
Roach mentioned politics as the main reason for Pacquiao’s imminent departure from the sport that has been so good to him.
“We are going to lose Manny Pacquiao to politics, for sure,” said the American trainer, recalling an incident in the early days of their training camp in Baguio where Pacquiao declared that he’s missing his job at Congress.
“After the first couple of days of training, Manny came up to me and said `I miss my job.’ And I said, `you’re at your job,’ and he said `no. I miss Congress’.”
Roach later expounded on what he said in that short interview he had with the renowned British broadcast network.
“Well, he (Pacquiao) loves his job. He misses his job as a Congressman. His mind was on Congress for the first few weeks of training and you could tell. It wasn’t on being in the gym,” he added.
“He’s so proud to be a politician, and he walks the walk. He loves being a Congressman and trying to improve his country. And I feel that eventually, yes, we will lose him to politics.”
And that’s exactly the reason why Roach wants Pacquiao to get focus in training should this fight with the lumbering Mexican be the last in his illustrious and colorful career that spans 15 years.
“His focus is the key,” stressed Roach.
The remaining two weeks of training at the old confines of the Wild Card gym will be crucial, according to the famed trainer, to get Pacquiao in the best of shape against the biggest opponent he’ll ever face in his career.
“The final three weeks will be two weeks of hard sparring at the Wild Card. Mostly what we have to work on is just focus. You know, Congress is gone for now. We don’t have to deal with that right now because it’s not here to have to be dealt with right now,” he said.
But having known Pacquiao since he first entered his popular gym at Vine St. in Hollywood as an unknown fighter with a rich potential, Roach believes they’ll still be able to overcome this latest – and perhaps final – adversity staring at them.
“I think that we will knock Margarito out along the way. I think that Margarito’s defense is terrible. He’s slow. I know that Margarito is supposed to be in great shape for this fight, but that’s what he’s supposed to be. It’s a world title fight, so that’s what I expect,” Roach said.
“Margarito should be in the best shape of his life. But Pacquiao’s going to be too fast, and Margarito’s defense is going to be too poor, and we will dominate him.”