Pacquiao's age gives trainer cause for concern
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao will be one month shy of his 38th birthday when he challenges World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas in November, a mature boxing age that gives his trainer cause for concern.
Though Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is confident that Pacquiao still has "a lot of fight left in him", he has told the Filipino southpaw that the very first time he sees him a step slower in the ring, he will have to retire.
"I do have some concerns over his age. I put all the factors together and so forth and I have a deal with Manny," Roach told Reuters. "I tell him, 'When you start slowing down just one step, I'm going to tell you to retire.'
"We have an agreement that he will retire when I tell him but I haven't seen that step lost yet. In his last fight, he fought a very good fight. We saw a lot of aggressiveness come out of Manny.
"He has the killer instinct coming back and I like that a lot. With his religion, it (the killer instinct) got away from him for a little while but he is very dedicated to his religion also and that makes the training a little more difficult."
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, scored a unanimous decision win over American Timothy Bradley in his most recent bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in April.
That was his first fight in nearly a year after his loss to undefeated American Floyd Mayweather in a heavily hyped welterweight showdown, and it improved his career record to (58-6-2).