By Mark G. Butcher in Macao: During his workouts, a self-professed man of god has shown glimpses of his former devil. In the gym in the catacombs of the Venetian Casino, Manny Pacquiao is a prowling, mustachioed menace, ripping into his trainer Freddie Roach and cornering him with spiteful bursts of punches.
The spark that deserted him at 147lbs has returned to the eight-division champion. That trademark zip in his punches is back while his innate quickness seems restored to its previously recognized levels. It all spells trouble for the angel-faced Chris Algieri in their 144lbs catchweight duel at the Cotai Arena on Sunday morning.
Competing at a lower weight has rejuvenated the Filipino legend. The explosive Pacquiao continues to impress in closed doors workouts here in Macao - the eyes of his extensive entourage upon him.
“The catchweight is good,” said trainer Roach. “I think Manny is going to head back to 140 after this fight if he feels good. I think he’s a better puncher at that weight anyway. He’s never been a big puncher at 147. He’s only knocked two welterweights out.
“He didn’t lose his power he just moved up too high in weight. He walks around at 138lbs. In training camp this time I bet we have hit 135 more than once. [Lightweight] might be a little bit of a struggle. It might be too much. I like 140 right now, but once we see how he feels at 140 we will make a decision."
Trainer Roach, who fancies an early knockout for the Filipino dynamo, believes that this training camp has been the best for a significant period of time.
“The camp went great. The first day we started we did 12 rounds on the mitts,” said Roach. “We usually start off at four. I was saying he’s ****ing ahead of schedule! He’s been that way since and is in great shape. We had our last day of sparring with (WBC No.1 junior welterweight contender) Victor Postol on Monday for four rounds. I think our sparring partners are better than our opponent, as I’ve said, and we will prove that on Sunday.”
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