Pacquiao’s ’57 ways’ to beat Thurman – Roach


LOS ANGELES: On Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), visitors entering the Wild Card Gym where WBA regular welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao was scheduled to spar had this notice on a white board to read: “Thurman is slower than (a brand of ketchup). Manny will beat him 57 ways on July 20.”

Signed Freddie Roach.

This writer immediately sought the gym owner after the 10-round sparring session, currently Pacquiao’s training consultant in his coming fight with fellow WBA titlist Keith Thurman to ask him where did he get the message and what was he trying to convey.

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His answer was he got it from a television commercial of that particular ketchup brand which shows the very slow flow of the ketchup from the bottle.

“It means Thurman is much, much slower than how the ketchup flows from the bottle, right?” Fred Sternberg, President of a communication company that manages sports public relations, interjected laughing.

Manny Pacquiao works the heavy bag during a training session with Hall of Famer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO BY WENDELL ALINEA

“Precisely,” Roach retorted.

And what about the phrase “Manny will beat him 57 ways on July 20?” this writer again asked.

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“Well, you see, the brand is advertised to have 57 varieties, which means Manny will beat Thurman as many times the number of that brand’s varieties,” the seven-time “Trainer of the Year” awardee of the Boxing Writers Association of America explained with a wide grin.

“July 20, of course pertains to the date of the on July 20 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas,” he added.

Roach later clarified that although his message was made to lend humor to what is already turning out a word war between Pacquiao and Thurman’s camps, it can’t be denied that many believed in what it tried to convey.

That the Filipino boxing sensation will win the fight.

“After lagging behind the odds in the early going Manny is now leading in the betting,” Roach further explained. “I am just trying to dramatize what is obvious.

Sternberg agreed, saying: “It’s in the bag. He’s (Pacquiao) our boy.”

The happy afternoon ending capped another day of a tough, hectic schedule for the eight-division champ that included an early morning run at the Pan Pacific Park.

Pacquiao, in fact, was able to rest only after entertaining old nemesis –turned close friend and fellow future Hall of Famer Erik Morales, who interviewed him on Mexican television at his residence along Plymouth St., Hancock Park.

A new sparring partner in Lazaro Lorenzana, a former amateur standout from San Diego, took over from Jesse Roman who was indisposed.

Lorenzana, a Mexican who can be mistaken as a Filipino because of his appearance, gave a good account of himself in five rounds although he admitted later he could not cope up with the fighting senator’s speed and strength.

AB Lopez, who has been testing Pacquiao’s mettle since arriving here two weeks ago looked to have accustomed to the Filipino’s style by trying to be aggressive only to fall out in the final two of his five-round stint, complaining of the Pacman’s vastly improved showing.

“Manny’s getting better and better. He’s just too good, too fast and too strong,” Lopez said later.

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The post Pacquiao’s ’57 ways’ to beat Thurman – Roach appeared first on The Manila Times Online.



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