by Nick Giongco
LAS VEGAS – Still on cloud nine following Manny Pacquiao’s win for the ages, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach expressed a bit of a concern over the way the Filipino legend took “a bit too much punishment” from Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand.
While he was awed by the 40-year-old Pacquiao’s eye-popping performance against a guy ten years his junior, Roach nonetheless admitted that before they think about the next fight, it will be wise to discuss what happened during the 12-rounder.
“Too soon to make a decision right. He fought a great fight, but he took a little bit too much hits,” Roach told a group of Manila-based scribes at the lobby of the MGM Grand.
Roach saw “fatigue a little bit in that fight that was very unusual” since Pacquiao had never been like that.
“The next time I see him, we’ll sit down and talk about who’s next or maybe it might be over,” said the 59-year-old Roach.
Pacquiao had Thurman down in the first round and put him in deep trouble in the fifth but Thurman stormed back and even took control of the second half of the match.
“We can’t walk away from Father Time,” he said, noting that Pacquiao mellowed, allowing Thurman to land those heavy blows to the head.
“I am worried that he took too many punches. Next time we talk what’s next and maybe it’s over. Maybe there is no next but I haven’t watched the fight again to get a better grasp.”
Roach, who began training Pacquiao in mid-2001, said “the last thing I want to happen is he gets hurt.”
Talks about facing another young lion in Errol Spence doesn’t look attractive at this point, according to Roach.
“We can’t say that we’ll fight Spence next and that’s rushing everything. That’s a real hard fight, tough fight but maybe a winnable because Spence didn’t look good against Mikey Garcia.”