Manny Pacquiao’s longtime mentor Freddie Roach said that World Boxing Organization (WBO) world welterweight champion Jessie Vargas is no threat to his ward because the American possesses no knockout power.
“Vargas is a tough guy, a two-time world champion and pretty durable. The only problem is he doesn’t have a big punch and doesn’t have that punch. He is not a big puncher,” Roach, 56, told The Manila Times at the Elorde Gym in Pasay City.
The 37-year-old Pacquiao (58-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) will be challenging a taller and younger opponent in the person of the 27-year old, 5’11 Vargas (27-1 record with 10 knockouts) on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Roach said that Pacquiao’s sparring sessions with American Jose Ramirez are impressive, adding that just like before, the Filipino ring icon would capitalize on his blistering speed and explosive power when he takes on Vargas.
“Although he’s a bit sluggish, we did pretty well in our eight-round sparring session last Tuesday.”
The legendary coach attested that he personally felt the destructive power of Pacquiao’s punches.
“He’s doing a lot better and explosive and we’re going to see a different Manny Pacquiao on November. In fact, he really hurts me during our mitts session as he almost ripped my body armor. Those shots were really hard,” Roach said.
Roach assessed that Pacquiao is nearing 100 percent fighting form with less than three weeks left before the fight. The Pacquiao camp will fly to Los Angeles, California on Saturday for the last phase of Pacman’s training at the Wildcard gym.
“He’s getting near 100 percent. He’s now at least 90 percent ready,” said Roach. “He did pretty well in sparring at eight rounds and 10 rounds at the mitts. Manny is improving everyday and that is what training camp is all about.”
Roach reiterated his prediction that Pacquiao would crush Vargas in the later rounds.
During Thursday’s sparring session, Pacquiao’s personal adviser Mike Koncz ordered that no outsiders be allowed inside the gym to reduce the possibility of the boxer contracting viral infections.
Pacquiao scored a unanimous decision victory over American Timothy Bradley in their third fight on April 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.