Boxingtalk.com just caught up with the second most famous person in The Philippines, Freddie Roach. Freddie talks about Manny Pacquiao's thrilling knockout victory over the legendary Erik Morales. Roach also updates us on the upcoming Peter Manfredo Jr vs Scottie Pemberton fight, James Toney Hasim Rahman fight, and much more. You don't want to miss what Freddie had to say, only on Boxingtalk.com!BT - Freddie, first of all congratulations on a brilliant job in getting Manny Pacquiao ready, and able to eventually go on to beat one of the best Mexican fighters that ever lived in Erik Morales.
FR - Thank you very much Brad, it was a great night.BT - Freddie, rounds 1 through 3 the fight almost was a repeat of the first fight with Morales. What did you tell Manny in the corner to get things turned around for him?
FR - Well I told Manny to take this guys jab away from him, and back him up. I told him to not wait for this guy, and throw combinations from the side. I told him to use your jab, and throw combinations, and not step straight back, step to the side.BT - Freddie, Manny was throwing 8 and 9 punch combinations, mixing it up, using his jab, moving, he looked like a different fighter from the first fight with Morales. How proud of Manny are you for doing exactly what you told him to do in the ring, and executing the game-plan to perfection
FR - Very proud, you know? to win this fight we had to make some adjustments, and we had to fight a different fight. We fought a poor fight the first time; I wanted to show the people that Manny is a good boxer, and not just a big puncher. Manny worked the body; he used his right hand, upper-cut, counter hook. Every time Morales would throw his jab, Manny would hook over the top with his hook. Morales was very tentative to throw that jab after that point.BT - Freddie, Manny also banged Erik's body. It looked like Manny's assault on Erik's body really took its toll on him
FR - Oh definitely, by the 5th round when they were rubbing his legs, I knew those body shots were taking their toll. BT - Freddie, Manny threw a thundering upper-cut that snapped Erik's head back, was that the punch that broke Erik's nose?
FR - Yes it was, that's Manny's favorite power shot. That was a great shot man, but I tell you Erik is one tough guy, he took some shots. We were using the men's gloves this time, and that really took its toll. You know? Erik could have chose Reyes gloves too, but he didn't. I want to point out though Manny won this fight, not the Reyes gloves.BT - After Manny's first fight with Erik Morales, one of the things you told Boxingtalk was that Manny had to get away from just throwing that left hand. Manny pulled out every punch in the book this time didn't he Freddie?
FR - Manny used both hands, and showed everyone that he's a complete fighter. Somebody told me one time that Manny is no different than Mayorga, and all he has is power, I said ' Manny is more than that'. I took it upon myself to prove to everyone that Manny is more than just a power puncher, and it was my job to prove this to everyone. We made the adjustments, and Manny executed the plan to perfection. The atmosphere in that building
was crazy.BT - Freddie was there a point during the fight when you knew you guys would get the knockout?
FR - After the 6th round I felt pretty confident we would, Erik's corner was rubbing his legs, and he was getting really tired. Morales started struggling, he still came out quickly in the late rounds, but he faded every time. Manny's body shots were crushing this guy, he really took it to him.BT - What was going through your mind when you saw Erik Morales hit the floor?
FR - I was really excited (laughs)....We never saw that before. Once Manny had him down, Manny is such a great finisher I knew we had him.BT - Freddie, I know you guys want to enjoy the moment, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask you about Marco Antonio Barrera and a rematch. Erik Morales has a rematch clause in his contract, however if he chooses not to fight Manny again, do you guys want Marco Antonio Barrera again?
FR - Well the thing is right now, we do have a rematch clause with Erik, and so if he wants to go again, we'll go again. Marco Antonio Barrera has done good things since he lost to Manny, if he wins against Chaves we'd love to fight him. I think Marco deserves a rematch, and he did have some distractions last time, so yea, we'll give him his rematch. If Morales wants the first shot, he'll get it.... I think we'll take a fight in The Philippines first before Morales, or Barrera.BT - Freddie, is Tim Austin a guy you would want against Manny in The Philippines?
FR - I didn't know Tim Austin was still around Brad ( laughing). You know, Tim Austin is a good fighter, and we would possibly take a look at that. Kevin Kelly is another guy we are looking at. I will look at some tapes of some opponents and see what's out there. Zahir Raheem is a guy that wants a fight too, so we'll look at him as well. If these guys want to come to The Philippines, we'll be glad to have them. HBO is also talking about wanting
to come to The Philippines as well, so let's see what happens. All of these guys have a chance, so we'll see what happens.BT - Freddie, Manny Pacquiao is by far the most famous person in The Philippines, and I think Freddie Roach is second (laughing). How does that make you feel that you are so respected in Manny's country?
FR - It's flattering.... Ronnie Nathaniels told me that I had to come to the parade that they are going to throw for me (laughing), because I am the second most famous person in The Philippines. It is flattering, and I will eventually go over there but right now I have a plate full. I have Peter Manfredo fighting on February 12th, and Brian Viloria on Vannes coming up, and a few others too. Of course I have James Toney vs Hasim Rahman on March
18th. After the James Toney fight maybe I will go to The Philippines and go see my friends.BT - Freddie you have Manfredo Jr vs Pemberton coming up. Scottie is no easy task, he's tough, and game for a fight, how do you guys get the win over him?
FR - Well we are going to have to out-box this guy. Peter is training really hard right now, and we know Scottie is tough, and we are not taking him lightly. I think Peter is ready for this fight though.BT - Freddie when does James Toney start camp?
FR - He started yesterday, he got to the gym a little heavy (laughs). James is motivated for this one, he told me that he isn't going to start no shit with Hasim before the fight because he doesn't want to give this guy any excuses to not fight. This is for the Heavyweight Championship; it doesn't get any bigger than that.
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