HE spoke quietly. Clustered round him were journalists, helpers, assorted hangers on and who knows whom else. Manny Pacquiao was taping up his hands, ahead of a workout that would take up most of his Wednesday afternoon. Whether focused on the session ahead or already channeling his energies towards the Chris Algieri fight alone, I couldn’t say, but Pacquiao’s voice was so soft it obliged you to lean in towards him and strain to make out his words.

“I have to use my speed. Speed and power,” he murmured. “Co-ordination, footspeed and handspeed.”

“I don’t want to be careless in the fight,” he continued. “I don’t want to get careless but what I’m trying to show is the old days, the old days of my career.

“What I have in my mind right now is to do things that people will enjoy. I will do the things on Sunday that people will enjoy.”

That suggests Pacquiao wants to defend his WBO title with a knockout. His trainer, Freddie Roach took up the theme. “He wants to get back to where he was knocking people out because he started hearing you guys [the media] say he lost his punch. You guys keep saying that, he’ll want to get stronger and stronger, prove everybody wrong. So I should thank you for getting him motivated,” Freddie said.

“I think Manny’s going to dominate this fight,” Roach continued. “[Algieri] is not a bad person but he’s really cocky and I think he’s in way over his head. He’s a durable guy. He proved that he has heart. I just think he’s in over his head with Manny Pacquiao. At this level it’s not the same as Ruslan Provodnikov. This is a much higher level fight than that one was and I think he’s in way over his head.”

The trainer promises Pacquiao will start fast. “We can’t give this guy momentum, we can’t let him get confidence. We’ve got to keep him at bay, we’re going to start quick,” Roach said. “You can’t give a guy like this confidence. A young man can grow, he’ll get stronger, more brave, better as the fight goes on. Our gameplan is to jump on him right away, say ‘hi’ to him, but not jump on him in a stupid way. We’ve got to do it correctly and smart.

“He’s supposed to have a fast jab. He doesn’t know what fast is, until he gets in the ring with Manny Pacquiao. They don’t realise what speed is until you’re in there against it.”

For the full Pacquiao-Algieri preview don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News, available via our app on iTunes and Google Play.
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