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KO drought hurting Pacquiao's appeal, says Roach

Manny Pacquiao and longtime trainer Freddie Roach. | Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines – Freddie Roach stressed it is important for Manny Pacquiao to knock out Jeff Horn in order to regain the admiration of his fans.

In an interview with On The Ropes Boxing, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer noted that the Filipino icon is losing more fans with each passing fight not ending in a thunderous knockout.

“I would love to see him get his killer instinct back and go for the knockout. I know we haven’t done that in a long time and the Bible has a lot to do with that, and it’s very tough to argue with the Bible,” Roach recently told radio host Jenna J.

Indeed, Pacquiao hasn’t scored a stoppage victory in ages—the last time was when he posted a 12th round TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. Twelve of his fights since then either ended in losses or decision victories.

Roach simply wants the slump to end on July 2, when Pacquiao stakes his WBO welterweight championship against Horn in Brisbane, Australia.

“The thing is, people like knockouts in boxing and Manny has lost a lot of his crowd because he hasn’t knocked anyone out in such a long time. I think he needs to get back to that, and I would love to see him do that, and this is the perfect fight to do it in,” the multi-awarded cornerman continued.

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Pacquiao is known for his lethal combination of power and speed, which he often employs to pummel opponents. But age—Pacquiao is at the twilight of his career at 38 years old—along with heavier and more skilled opponents have led him to find it tough to finish off foes.

Roach, for his part, is longing for the fiery Pacquiao of old.

“I wish he would just go back to his old self, because he was a really hot product when he was knocking people out,” he added.

“I know he can do it again if I press the right button and get him to fire up.”

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