Manny Pacquiao, Dedham Freddie Roach and Bob Arum took part in a conference call Wednesday morning, or night in the Philippines, where Pacman is readying himself for a Nov. 22 (23 in Macau) scrap against New York upset-specialist Chris Algieri.
Basketball was on everyone's mind, what with Manny coaching and playing pro hoops in his native land. He assured everyone that it will not be a distraction,a and I took the opportunity to continue on the theme. Who is a better hoopster, him or Floyd Mayweather? Manny chuckled, and humbly said that he can't say, but that trainer Roach assured him he's the better baller. I suggested a one on one PPV match…
“Basketball will not affect my training,” Pacman promised, noting that he plays on a day when he has off from boxing.
Arum told me that he has inserted no-danger clauses in past fighters' contracts, but doesn't have one with Manny, because their relationship is so special. Arum joked that Manny can try out for the NY Knicks if he wants to…after the fight.
Roach stirred the pot some when he said that sparring for this camp is better than ever before, and that Philly's Mike Jones, Stan Martyniouk and especially craft Viktor Postol (26-0; age 30; from Ukraine) are superlative tests. Some may be better than Algieri, in fact, Roach posited. He singled out the Postol as someone with the jab and the ring intelligence to truly test the 36-year-old fighter/Congressman/baller/Born Again Christian/icon.
Camp is on target, with Manny having sparred 34 plus rounds already, Roach said, and him training so near home is good for him.
As per usual, Roach said a KO win was a possibility, and that he thinks it could come…but noted that he thinks Manny's power speaks louder at 140, than at 147, or catch-weight of 144 max.
Roach didn't truly bust on Algieri, noting that he's a “solid guy, who comes to fight,” which is what he understood when the Long Islander beat Freddie's guy Ruslan Provodnikov this June.
Manny showed his defense is already in a good place as he deflected a question about pro democracy protests in Hong Kong. He said he'd need to study the issue more before commenting.
Arum provided some prickly fun when he went at ESPN's Dan Rafael, who asked him why he's bringing Manny back to Macau, and said that HBO folks had said that wouldn't happen again. Arum said that is not so, and said it's his business, and Manny's business, and that Macau is a hopping joint, and it's a shame the writer won't be traveling to see the scrap.
Fun call, overall. Your thoughts, Forum crew?
Follow Woods on the Twitter. https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069