PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — AS Manny Pacquiao leaves for the U.S. tonight for the remaining two weeks of his training, trainer Freddie Roach declared the boxing champion to be 90 percent fit ready for his Nov. 14 title fight with Miguel Cotto.
Roach said he expects Pacquiao to complete the remaining 10 percent still lacking in his preparation once they hit the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles by Monday.
Pacquiao, Roach, conditioning coach Alex Ariza and the rest of the team will be flying back to the U.S. after spending more than a month training at the Shape Up gym in Baguio City and Gerry Penalosa’s gym in Mandaluyong.
“Manny is now 90 percent ready,” said Roach. “Now there is two weeks to 100 (percent) and will hit that next week in L.A.”
Roach gave Pacquiao a day-off in training Friday following what he said was a rigorous roadwork in the morning.
“He’s been very tired after undergoing roadwork (at the Luneta) for an hour this morning (yesterday),” said Roach, who decided to give the pound-for-pound king a well-deserved rest after the Filipino failed to answer several of his trainer’s call by mid-afternoon Friday.
“I thought I have to give him a day’s off. He had a good 10-round sparring yesterday (Thursday), another good road work today, and I thought I owe it to give him his first day off.”
While he’s not looking past the 28-year old Cotto, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO welterweight champion, Roach didn’t hide his desire to meet Juan Manuel Marquez again, and possibly, the returning Floyd Mayweather Jr.
He said should the two mega-fights happen, the 30-year old Pacquiao can finally hang up his gloves.
“It will be a dream come true if we can fight Mayweather and Marquez. If that happens, there is nothing more to prove for Manny, and we can all retire,” Roach said.
Of the two warriors however, a third meeting with Marquez is more of a possibility.
While he really wants a shot at Mayweather in what many boxing experts believe would be one of the biggest boxing fights of all time, the share in the purse hampers the bout from happening, since as Roach puts it, “Mayweather wants all the money.”
Pride more than the prize meanwhile, motivates the three-time Trainer of the Year from considering a third – and hopefully, last – meeting with the 35-year old Marquez.
“I want Marquez because he’s been crying a lot and I want to shut him up,” said Roach.
Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a controversial draw in their first encounter in 2004, before the Filipino ring icon eked out a close split decision in their 2008 rematch.
If ever, Roach said he wants to fight Marquez at 140 pounds, where he believes, the Mexican fighter is at his best.