MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao flooring Shawn Porter twice in sparring last Thursday doesn’t mean much for his chief trainer, Freddie Roach.
“Nothing,” said the three-time Trainer of the Year over the phone yesterday from Baguio City, right after another heavy, non-sparring day at the Shape Up Gym.
“It only means that he’s ready for the fight and that he’s doing very well,” Roach told The STAR, saying that Porter, the undefeated 21-year-old junior middleweight was floored twice by Pacquiao.
Roach said Pacquiao sparred four rounds with Porter, and caught the big and burly native of Ohio, a 2007 National Golden Gloves champion, with two powerful lefts in the third round of their skirmish.
“Yes, Shawn went down twice but he came back very well and caught Manny with a good hook. He came back very well,” said Roach, adding that Pacquiao also sparred four rounds with Jose Luis Castillo.
An Internet report said Castillo, the former WBC lightweight champion who came very close to beating Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2002, had blood on his nose after sparring with the hard-hitting Filipino.
As of Thursday, Pacquiao has logged a total of 46 rounds of sparring, and as the rounds increase to 10 and 12 over the next few days, he should have close to 150 rounds on the book before training ends.
Roach said Pacquiao has decided to cut short his stay in Baguio by a day. He said they should be in Manila on the evening of Thursday, instead of Friday, and train two days in a local gym before flying to Los Angeles on Saturday evening.
“It’s a little hectic coming down so we pushed the date a day ahead,” said Roach, referring to the terrible road conditions from Baguio all the way down to Manila due to the recent spate of typhoons to hit the country.
Pacquiao will hold sparring today against Porter and Castillo, who seemed to have impressed Roach with his style.
“I like his style because he likes to come in and tends to lean forward,” said Roach, close to saying that Castillo, who had two memorable fights with the late Diego Corrales, fights like Cotto.
A few days ago, there was a thread at Pacand, the highly popular Pacquiao website, saying that the Filipino pound-for-pound champion got knocked down in sparring.
But Nonoy Neri of Team Pacquiao was quick to brush it aside.
“Nothing like that. No knockdowns,” he said.
Not until Thursday, when Porter, not Pacquiao, hit the floor. Not once but twice.