'Pacquiao's skills not declining'
By Alder Almo Updated Friday November 21, 2014 - 1:56pm

Manny Pacquiao works out at The Venetian Macao in Macau, China on Thursday. AJ Bolando/Philstar.com

MACAU - Manny Pacquiao's camp disputes the claim that the Filipino icon is declining faster than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Earlier this month, Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez picked Mayweather to win against Pacquiao if ever their much-awaited megabuck showdown will push through next year.

Pacquiao managed to bounce back from a brutal knockout loss to archrival Juan Manuel Marquez two years ago with two straight wins against Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley. He is looking to stretch that streak to three and put an end to a five-year knockout drought on Sunday against undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri.

"I really don't think it's declining at all. It's just that he's never a big puncher at 147-lb (division). He only has two knockouts at that weight anyway," Roach said.

Pacquiao's trainer said they only jumped to the welterweight division because that is where the big money fights are.  

"We just went to 147 to fill in the big money fights with Oscar (Dela Hoya) and so forth. He's really a 140-pounder. Now, we're fighting at 144 and when he feels okay, we'll go 140 in our next fight and then the knockouts will start coming in again," Roach said.  "The 147-lb division got bigger guys and they are more durable and harder to knock out."

But the Hall of Fame trainer vowed that Pacquiao's knockout drought will end this Sunday. 

Assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez believes his best friend can still fight even until his 40's. 

"Sila kasi na nag-komento, hindi nila nakikita o nakakasama ang Pambansang Kamao natin eh. Kami kasing dalawa, alam ko kung kelan magre-retiro o bababa ng ring ang kaibigan ko. Basta ang alam ko, kahit 40 kaya pa naming lumaban," Fernandez said.

For this fight against Algieri, Pacquiao went back to his old training regimen of doing heavy bag work. Roach claimed his explosiveness is back. Fernandez is one in saying that the old Pacquiao is back.

"Kasi wala namang nagbago. In fact, mas bumalik nga ang speed niya, yung lakas niya nandun. Naging mas determinado siya kasi alam niya na marami pang umaasa na mga kababayan natin. Hindi ako naniniwala na pababa na ang career ng kaibigan ko," Fernandez said.

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