‘Roach will not gamble Pacquiao’s future in 135-lb’

By Alex P. VIDAL/ PNS

If he knows that Manny Pacquiao will be harmed and destroyed in the lightweight division, Freddie Roach will never gamble the future of the Filipino ring heartthrob by allowing him to fight World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion David Diaz on June 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was the opinion given by lawyer and boxing analyst Manuel Justiniani, 65, who predicted that “Manny Pacquiao will, in fact, dominate the lightweight division for a long time.”

“Pacquiao’s natural force is in lightweight division, not in the superfeatherweight,” averred Justiniani, a former legal adviser of Iloilo Governor Niel D. Tupas. “I see him dominating the lightweight division and nonody can beat them there.”

He considers Roach, a Hall of Famen coach, as a “brilliant handler of world champions” who will never allow his wards to be waylaid by superior fighters.

“Fred Roach knows that he will be discredited if Pacquiao will lose. He will be the first man to discourage Pacquiao from scaling the lightweight division if he knows that Pacquiao has no chances (of beating Diaz),” added Justiniani.

The veteran lawyer predicts that the 29-year-old Pacquiao (46-3, 35 KO) will demolish the 31-year-old Diaz (34-1, 17 KO) in the later rounds-between seven to 11 rounds.

He said “Pacquiao is very dangerous in these rounds unless he can connect a KO punch in the early rounds.”

Pacman’s edge over his foes is his style in the ring, explained the lawyer. “Pacquiao is different because when he attacks, he waves his head and he can’t be hit. Even Marco Antonio Barrera was surprised that he could not hit Pacquiao.”

Justiniani said when Pacquiao throws his punch in the left, he moves in the right side and he throws heavy punches that could finish off even the best fighters in his division. Pacquiao, he said, fights until the last round “and his force is still there.”

“In fact, he is a lot better than (Floyd) Mayweather,” Justiniani said. “No Filipino boxer can match Pacquiao’s ferocity and talent; not even (International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Nonito) Donaire and Manny’s brother Bobby Pacquiao. Pacquiao is better than (World Boxing Organization bantamweight king) Gerry Pelosa and other Filipino world champions in the past.”

“Every time Pacquiao fights, I stop doing what I am doing. That’s how I admire him,” he concluded. “He is the greatest Filipino world champion.”