By Nick Giongco
LOS ANGELES—There is one thing that Freddie Roach fears the most taking shape on July 20 in Las Vegas.

While he doesn’t believe that time has already come, there remains the possibility that Manny Pacquiao suddenly looks his age against the undefeated Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand.

IMG 5737 350x368 - Roach’s only concern in Thurman fight

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is supremely confident that Manny Pacquiao will handle Keith Thurman next week in Las Vegas. (Nick Giongco)

Roach admits that he had seen many fighters get old overnight and the possibility of seeing it happening on is beloved fighter is on his mind.

“This (getting old overnight in boxing) is true,” Roach said on Friday just moments before locking the doors on the first floor gym of the Wild Card Boxing Club earlier than usual as Pacquiao took another day off.

Roach swears that while Pacquao has been sensational the last four weeks, there is still that possibility that his 40-year-old fighter might end up unable to pull the trigger.

“The gym is the gym and a fight is totally different place. Usually it never shows in the gym that a fighter is all done or (is already) shot but it will show in the fight,” said Roach, who is in his 18th year as
Pacquiao’s cornerman.

“It could happen and all of a sudden and it could be all that. But I don’t see the that right now but again we have a big opponent in the ring and is for real so it does change things and we’ll have to what
on fight night.”

Still, Roach is upbeat that Pacquiao hasn’t reached the finish line and sounded certain that everything’s going to fall into place.

“I don’t have any concerns. He will destroy Thurman. He is not in the same class. I think Manny will overwhelm him,” he said.

“Thurman can’t handle Manny’s speed because Manny’s speed is continuous and it doesn’t go away halfway through the fight,” appearing unperturbed that Pacquiao decided not to show up for the afternoon

Pacquiao actually scaled Griffith Park in the morning and was impressive during his eight-round sparring session with two different guys on Thursday.

Roach expects the same on Saturday when he goes six rounds.

“I’m actually happy about that because yesterday’s workout was great and he ran real hard this morning. Like I said, we’re in a four-five day schedule lately and it’s been working really well,” he said.

Roach can’t wait to see his student report for duty on Saturday.

“Tomorrow (today) I expect him to look great in sparring. Sparring days to me are more important than mitt days at this point and I think he’ll look good tomorrow.”

As for his prediction, Roach didn’t bat an eyelash in issuing one.

“Manny will knock him out about the ninth round.”

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