Prized boxing trainer Freddie Roach has seen a loophole in Joshua Clottey’s defense that Manny Pacquiao could take advantage of when the two fighters slug it out on March 13.
“He's pretty strong and he has a good chin and he's a durable guy,” Roach said of the Ghanaian boxer in an interview with FightFan.com.
However, he described Clottey’s defense as very “passive”.
“Sometimes he goes to the ropes. I can't figure it out if he's being lazy and resting or he's trying to punch yourself out. But if he lays on the ropes and he has that passive defense on us, we're gonna kill him,” said Roach.
The trainer said that although Pacquiao did some “rope-a-dope” tactic during his fight with Miguel Cotto last November, he said the Filipino merely tested the Puerto Rican’s punching power.
“He was there for a reason. If he's just being lazy, then there's a problem with it but he has a reason, it's okay. I told him, 'I don't get the idea', but that's being Pacquiao,” said Roach.
The controversial trainer is currently overseeing Pacquiao’s training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California.
He said he’s very impressed with the conditioning of the 7-time world champion, who is making his first title defense against Clottey.
“He looks pretty good... I was very happy with his performances,” said Roach.
Pacquiao will stake his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against the Ghanaian at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 13.
Roach attributed Pacquiao's superb conditioning partly to his brief down time after the Cotto fight. He said the "rest days" have worked wonders for the Filipino.
Pacquiao took a two-month vacation from boxing following his sensational 12th round technical knockout win over Cotto.
“He plays basketball everyday… it's like his favorite sport. He runs and runs the court and he came in to the New York press conference [for the Clottey fight] at 148 pounds,” said Roach.