BAGUIO CITY The inevitable that trainer Freddie Roach feared happened.
Seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao went down yesterday, not by a punch from any of his sparring mates but with flu virus, Roach suspected came from the crowd that, despite strict implementation of security measures, managed to sneak in during practice.
As a result, the well-acclaimed trainer declared he will be imposing stricter measures on crowd contact, including enforcing a curfew.
All the training activities scheduled for the day, including the early morning roadwork and doing the mitts with Roach, were cancelled as the World Boxing Organization welterweight titleholder had to stay in bed due to severe cold and a slight fever.
Roach wouldnt know until when his ward will recuperate to resume training for his November 13 fight with Mexican Antonio Margarito because of the known fact that Pacquiao doesnt take medication because of superstitious belief.
I dont know. It all depends on what will happen at this time until tomorrow, the four-time trainer of the year awardee, said when asked how long he will rest the Pacman. My problem is Manny doesnt want to take any medication because of his belief, so lets just wait.
Roach decision to cancel the rest of the training schedule came one and-a-half hours of waiting for Pacquiao to come down from his Cooyessan Hotel room and appear at the Shape Up Gym inside the same hotel for his routine workout atop the ring.
I would have to sent him back to his room anyway, so theres no need to wait for him for me to decide whether to cancel the workout or not. Yes, everything scheduled for the day is cancelled, he declared. There was no sparring anyway.
Im giving him a big day-off. Its good that this happened at this time when we are ahead of schedule and not at a time when were closer to the fight, he reasoned out.
Asked if playing basketball had got to do with Pacquiaos contacting the ailment, Roach smilingly said: Its part of it. Manny loves basketball so much and I dont intend to stop him from playing. Thats why we got a deal that one month before the fight, no more basketball. He still has a week.
The crowd that gathers every time we train was also a reason. Thats why were holding our training behind closed door so that he wont be contaminated with the many virus going around, he said.
For this reason, Roach said stricter measures to avoid this thing happening again, like imposing curfew would have to be enforced.
Starting soon, maybe tomorrow, everybody, including, most especially Manny, must be at their rooms at 9 p.m., Roach said.
A little a week ago, the scheduled first day of sparring session was also put off after skipped his running routine although he made up for that the rest of the day by putting up an impressive show on the mitts with his chief trainer. http://philboxing.com/news/story-44903.html