Manny Pacquiao arrives in Los Angeles from the Philippines for the final month of what could be his final training camp on Saturday evening.
Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), who says he will retire after his upcoming fight, is getting ready to face Timothy Bradley Jr. (33-1-1, 13 KOs) for the third time. They meet in a welterweight bout on April 9 (HBO PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the same venue as their first two bouts, which they split (even though most of the world thought Pacquiao easily won the first fight).
Despite the distractions Pacquiao brought on himself with his recent anti-gay comments that caused worldwide outrage and cost him an endorsement deal with Nike, trainer Freddie Roach said he is pleased with what he has seen thus far from Pacquiao, who is coming off a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in their mega fight last May and subsequent shoulder on his torn rotator cuff.
"We had a strong camp in the Philippines and Manny, as usual, is way ahead of schedule in his conditioning, and very motivated," Roach said. "The real business begins for us on Monday at Wild Card. We have great sparring waiting for Manny. I know that ESPN announcer [Teddy Atlas] who is coaching Bradley is a good story teller and likes acting."
Then Roach took a swipe at Atlas for his instant classic corner rant to Bradley about how they were firemen living in the heat during Bradley's last fight against Brandon Rios on Nov. 7, which Bradley won by ninth-round knockout.
"Let's see how well they do when we go off script and hit them with a dose of reality TV," Roach said. "Playing firemen isn't going to protect them from the nuclear assault Manny will be launching."
Roach and Atlas, going into his second fight with Bradley, are among the most famous trainers in boxing but will be opposite corners for the first time.