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Freddie Roach says riches, election won't distract Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao earned more than $150 million in his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May, and his mind is on a May election for a seat in the Philippines Senate.

Still, the boxer’s trainer says he knows Pacquiao well enough to predict how the fighter will prepare for his third fight against Timothy Bradley Jr., on April 9 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

“One thing about Manny Pacquiao is once he walks in the boxing gym, all that other stuff goes away,” Freddie Roach told The Times on Saturday in a telephone conversation.

“He’s always dedicated, always works very hard, and I don’t think that will change. Once he’s in the gym, he knows what he’s there for. It’s still what he does best, and he knows that.”

After turning 37 last month, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) is using his  bout against Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs), the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, to prove he's fully recovered from surgery on his left shoulder.

Pacquiao injured the shoulder while training for his bout against Mayweather and aggravated it during the fourth round of the richest fight in boxing history.

Coachella Valley’s Bradley is seeking to convincingly defeat Pacquiao following his disputed split-decision triumph when the two fought in 2012. Two years later, Pacquiao won a unanimous decision.

In November, Bradley scored an impressive ninth-round technical knockout of Brandon Rios, who weighed a staggering 170 pounds on fight night -- 23 pounds over the welterweight limit -- and retired after the defeat.

Bradley praised his new trainer, Teddy Atlas, for the improved showing, in which he remained mostly unmarked and repeatedly beat Rios to the punch.

“Bradley looked good, but ... with all that fat on Rios, I had never seen him look like that before, so I don’t think Bradley had that much in front of him,” Roach said.

“Bradley did what he had to do. Teddy Atlas is a good motivator, and Bradley fought a good fight. I don’t think you can give Atlas credit yet.”

Roach said he has yet to speak to Pacquiao about Bradley, or about his boxer's likely interest in winning the fight and the election -- and then seeking a rematch with the retired, unbeaten Mayweather.

Roach, who is currently training light-heavyweight Jean Pascal for his Jan. 30 title fight against champion Sergey Kovalev in Montreal, said he has yet to finalize a decision on whether he’ll start Pacquiao’s camp in the Philippines or in Hollywood.

“With all the people who are usually around him in the Philippines, he may come here for the whole eight weeks,” Roach said.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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