Trainer Freddie Roach reveals some of Pacman's issues in training camp

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports

One of the few problems in Manny Pacquiao's career that trainer Freddie Roach hasn't been able to solve has been the Filipino superstar's tendency to suffer leg cramps.

Pacquiao has massive calves, the size of a large apple, and he relies on them to generate his punching power.

But in many of his fights, he's been hindered by cramps.

Roach told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that cramps continue to be an issue for Pacquiao, though he's taking steps to prevent them as the boxer continues his preparations for his May 2 bout in Las Vegas against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

One of those steps involved purchasing an anti-inflammatory cream for his calves that cost $1,800 for a small tube. The cost was so high because Pacquiao doesn't have U.S. insurance and had to pay the inflated retail cost.

Before applying it, Roach had it approved by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which is conducting drug testing for the fight.

Freddie Roach poses at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. (Getty Images)
Freddie Roach poses at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. (Getty Images)

"There's no magic cure for it," Roach said of Pacquiao's cramps. "We're doing what we can do. I've got the doctors working on it. There are some Filipino guys here who are massaging it for him. The cream cost $1,800 for a single bottle. I wasn't too happy about that."

Roach said in an effort to rid Pacquiao of shin splints, he and conditioning coach Justin Fortune no longer have him running hills. Pacquiao often ran up a concrete hill during his previous training camps with Roach in the Los Angeles area.

"We did change his running schedule because I don't like him running the hills six days a week," Roach said. "I've got him on the track a lot more now doing fast sprint-type workouts instead of hill workouts. I think it's better for the older fighters sometimes to stay away from the hills so much.

"When he was young, it was OK, but he's getting a little older and the wear and tear of going up that hill, which is all concrete, is really not good for his legs. On the days he spars, he goes [to run at] Pan Pacific Park, and on the other days, we go over to UCLA."

Roach said Pacquiao "is on fire" during his workouts and said he hadn't seen him as intense as he has been in this camp.

Roach is confident Pacquiao will become the first in 48 bouts to defeat Mayweather and said he's been spending his free time watching Mayweather's old fights.

He said he also sought out WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, whom he trains and who lost to both Mayweather and Pacquiao, to ask his advice.

Roach said he felt Zab Judah would have beaten Mayweather in 2006 if Judah hadn't tired at the fight's midpoint. He also said he asked Cotto why he felt he lost to Mayweather in 2012.

"He told me him and his trainer [Pedro Diaz] weren't getting along too well and he didn't have much to say," Roach said. "He doesn't think much of Mayweather and told me he thinks Manny is going to kill him. I do, too, so that made me feel good. The things we've been working on have been going pretty well. I asked Miguel for some advice and what he thought Mayweather's best moves are.

"He said that Mayweather is very good at setting a trap and making people walk into it, but Manny is very familiar with that trap. That's not going to surprise him. This is such a massive fight and Manny wants to win it so bad, he's been spot on with everything."

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao will fight in Las Vegas on May 2. (AP)
Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao will fight in Las Vegas on May 2. (AP)

One thing Pacquiao may not have necessarily won was his negotiation with Roach over the trainer's purse. Pacquiao, who is expected to earn more than $100 million for the fight, asked Roach one day before camp began how much he wanted to train him for the bout.

Roach suggested that Pacquiao contact his agent to work out the deal.

But Pacquiao insisted on the two men hammering it out man-to-man.

"We were in the locker room and the subject [of my pay for the fight] came up," Roach said. "He wanted to know what I wanted. I said, 'What do you want to give me?' He just kept saying, 'Tell me what you want.' So I told him to go work it out with [his agent]. And Manny said, 'No. No. I want to do it with you. And so we spent 20 seconds in the locker room and he said, 'What if I pay you this much?' And I shook his hand and said, 'Deal. Thank you.' It's more money than I've ever seen in my life and it was very, very fair. Way more than fair, honestly.

"I am happy for it and I'm out here working my ass off for him. It's not because of the money, but because he's such a nice guy and a good and honorable man."

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