RSR has just been informed that the training camp of Manny Pacquiao had a slight scare recently during a sparring session with Amir Khan. There has been recurring talk from members of the team as well as trainer Freddie Roach that Pacquiao is not as focused on this fight as he has been in the past and that he is not performing well in the gym.
According to an inside source, Pacquiao was controlled and stunned so badly by Amir Khan in training that the sparring session was halted after just three rounds. Roach had a heated discussion with his prize fighter where he reportedly told him that he was “going to lose” if he didn’t get his head together.
A defiant Pacquiao seemed oblivious to the warnings about distractions and continued to sign autographs and ignore his trainer to a certain degree. A very loud discussion was heard behind closed doors with Pacquiao and Roach and this has apparently been the norm at the Wildcard Gym. With Antonio Margarito having a very good training camp and Manny Pacquiao not focused on his opponent, there is some hope for an upset, especially with the Filipino star taking his foe so lightly.
An article by the Associated Press quoted Roach as saying: “I know his mind is off the fight. I know his mind is somewhere else, and that’s because of politics. If there are no more challenges out there after this fight, this could be it. If Floyd (Mayweather Jr.) doesn’t come to the table, I don’t know what’s going to challenge him. He loves his other job, and he might be done with this one.”
Antonio Margarito is not seen as much of a challenge by many, including me, but as Larry Merchant once put it: “Your lesser opponents become your better opponents when you underestimate them,” and this is what is going on here. All the elements are here for an upset and unless Roach can get control of his fighter and steer the training camp in the right direction, all the hope for a showdown with Floyd Mayweather, JR., will be out the window.
RSR will continue to update you on the goings on within the Pacquiao camp. Like many of you, we are equally shocked by Pacquiao’s apparent disinterest in this fight and casual approach. Roach will need all of his inside and out of the ring psychology to bring a grade A PacMan to Dallas, but time is running out.