The following is the fourth installment of training camp notes from WBO welterweight titlehoder Manny Pacquiao in advance of his defense against WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley that will happen on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View.
In an interview taken from a press release distributed by HBO on behalf of promoter Top Rank Inc., Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts), who will turn 34 in December, addresses his preparation for Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) under the guidance of trainer Freddie Roach, his impending retirement from the sport, and the potential for distractions stemming from both his legal problems and his role as a congressman in his native Philippines.
Questions for Pacquiao: How difficult is it to juggle training with your job as a public servant? Does Freddie Roach get upset if you cancel a training session? People say your legal problems at the moment are going to affect you in the ring, what do you have to say about that? Do you have any career goals that are still unmet, and how many more fights do you have left?
“How difficult is it to juggle training with my congressional schedule is a question I am asked a lot and it’s a good one. I am lucky in that I have the ability to be mentally organized and able to follow a schedule. Training for a fight or being congressman takes a great amount of discipline individually but combined I have to be very diligent in sticking to planned schedules. It’s not something I can do alone.
“I work with dedicated team members who help me make the most of my time. But I enjoy doing different things because I find the overlap improves my productivity and creativity. It alters my routine which I find stimulating. Most of my training camps are held while Congress is in recess, though that does not mean I stop working for the people I represent. I am in daily touch with my congressional staff by telephone and email, where I am constantly kept updated on legislation that is pending, projects I am working on and any emergencies that may pop up.
“My trainer Freddie Roach keeps me on a schedule as well — morning roadwork and afternoon gym sessions. Not only does my training prepare me for upcoming fights but it also helps me think clearer when it comes to dealing with my Congressional duties. I feel totally energized after working out and I am able to pour that physical and mental energy into my congressional work. To be honest, I enjoy a busy schedule.
“My daily Bible study sessions are the perfect way to end the day. I have discovered that The Bible is the manual of life and it has given me a lot of comfort as well as lessons on being a better person. The Bible has shown me what my priorities should be so that I can live a better life. I feel better because I have embraced The Bible. I am better because I have embraced The Bible. And I am so much happier and at peace because I have embraced The Bible.
“Regarding unmet career goals, I have many, though not in boxing. I am very satisfied with what I have accomplished in my boxing career. Winning world titles in eight divisions and defeating great fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton have brought glory to the Philippines and the Filipino people around the world.
“But for as long as I keep fighting it is my goal to keep the fans entertained and coming back for more fights. I have no time limit on when I will end my boxing career. When it is no longer enjoyable and when my skills begin to decline, my trainer Freddie Roach has promised to tell me it is time to end it.
“I still have a great many goals that remain unmet as a Congressman. The province of Sarangani, which I represent, is still without a hospital. That is not right and I cannot rest until my province gets the funds to build one. Human trafficking is an abomination and I will not rest until it ceases. And finally, I have dedicated my life to spreading the lessons of The Bible. It provides a great many blessings and its teachings are the way to world peace.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org