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Manny Pacquiao age: Trainer says he can fight well into his 40s

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Joseph Herron Updated
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Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao has already stated that he plans to make his long awaited return to the squared circle in July. But with the latest coronavirus scare, will the legendary Pacman be forced to push back his first WBA title defense even further?

If the esteemed Senator does suspend his projected July fight date, will the now 41 year old combatant still be able to perform at the highest level after an entire year out of the ring?

Trainer Freddie Roach claims that fans could see Manny compete against the top welterweights well into his 40's.

How?

Historically, fighters who compete at 147 pounds aren't able to fight at the elite level after the age of 40 because their speed and reflexes diminish considerably.

The Hall of Fame trainer insists that his superstar fighter's secret to longevity lies within a different but equally crucial area.

"At 40 years old, his legs are really, really strong," Roach recently stated to ESPN. "Usually the first thing to go in a fighter is his legs, and Manny's legs are unbelievably great. He moves so well."

"Everybody talks about how fast he is and always comments on his hand speed. It's his footwork and footspeed that is special to me. His foot speed is unbelievable to me."

In his WBA title winning effort against Keith "One Time" Thurman last July, the Pacman seemed to turn back the clock, dropping the former undefeated champ in the first round, and eventually earning an impressive split decision victory.

It was a good win at any age and Freddie Roach was in awe of his future Hall of Fame puncher.

"He fought a very, very good fight and took this guy to school. When he came out and was aggressive to start the fight, knocking him down in the first round, I said, 'the old Manny is back'! I love when I see him going out there and attacking his opponents."

Freddie also believes a key to Manny's success both in and out of the ring is his character. Although it's an intangible that is virtually impossible to measure, the knowledgable fight trainer claims that Pacquiao's big heart and determination sets him apart from most fighters he's trained throughout his impressive tenure in the sport.

"Manny Pacquiao has been stopped before, and he accepts losing better than any fighter I've ever seen. Often you'll see fighters get completely destroyed by a single loss or bad performance. Pacquiao is special. He's somehow able to put it behind him, and you really don't ever have to worry about who you put him in the ring with next."

"You'll never have to give him like a soft fight or an easier fight for him."

After getting stopped by ring nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012, the Pacman came back the following year and faced the relentless and always dangerous, former champ Brandon Rios in Macau, China. The end result was a boxing masterclass, in which Pacquiao pitched a virtual shut-out over twelve rounds.

"I knew he would come back strong. Manny knows that getting knocked out is part of the sport."

"When I first met Manny, he showed me two fights at 112 and 115 pounds. They were two fights in which he was knocked out. I said, 'why are you showing me these?' He said he wanted to show me his entire career. He was very humble and wanted to learn how to correct his mistakes in the ring."

"So we immediately started to work on correcting his mistakes. He never knocked down anyone with his right hand until we started to develop it. And when you look at his most recent fight with Thurman, he knocked him down in the first round with the right hand."

Although there is current chatter among boxing circles that Pacquiao will be facing either Errol Spence Jr. or Mikey Garcia next, Freddie insists that the decision will be Manny's and Manny's alone.

"Manny obviously wanted to fight Mayweather this year, but that looks like it won't happen. So whomever Manny decides to fight, that's his call, and we'll prepare for who he decides he wants to fight."

Because of the very serious coronavirus pandemic, fans may have to wait until the third or fourth quarter to see the legendary Pacman back in the ring. But according to his coach, his die-hard supporters should expect to see the best version of Manny Pacquiao compete against a top level opponent when he does finally return.

 
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