Manny Pacquiao is certainly one of the biggest boxing names in the world. Manny has had a lot of success in his career, and there is almost no one who doesn’t know Pacquiao. But it all started back in 2001 when Pacquiao debuted as a U.S.
fighter. Pacquiao remembered his moments and what it all looked like "We were staying in a small apartment in Hollywood, near the Denny's On Sunset Boulevard, not far from the highway (Highway 101). The Denny's and the apartment building are still there," said Manny, as quoted by boxingscene "We wandered over to a gym that had been recommended to us -- Wild Card Boxing Club -- and my manager introduced himself to a man in the gym and told him he was looking for a trainer to work mitts with me."
"That man turned out to be the gym owner, Freddie Roach, who agreed to work with me. After the first round, I returned to my corner and said I just found my new trainer. Freddie was great with the mitts and as I soon found out, great with instruction too.
He also revealed which fight changed his life "Suddenly, as I was preparing to go back to the Philippines, we get an offer to challenge IBF junior featherweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba. I was the No. 3-rated contender and the two fighters ahead of me couldn't, or wouldn't, take the fight."
"Freddie and I had trained together about two weeks and now I'm walking into the ring at the MGM Grand to fight Ledwaba on HBO Pay-Per-View. It was crazy! That fight changed my life."
Roach about days with Manny
Roach also remembered those days and explained what he expected "I opened up Wild Card in hopes that one day a new Muhammad Ali would walk in looking for a trainer.
And then, in 2001, he did. Only he was nearly a foot shorter, weighed 122 pounds and spoke very little English," said Freddie. "I remember the first time we met. He came in looking for a trainer to work the mitts and after the first round I went back to my corner and said this guy is sensational."
"We have a new fighter. Soon Manny gets the call offering him the Ledwaba fight. He was getting ready to go back to the Philippines. If that call comes a day later, Manny misses out on that fight." " We trained for two weeks and every day I'm falling more and more in love with his boxing skills and power.
He was that good. So now it's fight week and I'm going to every casino trying to lay a bet on Manny. It all looked just like a movie scene when Pacqiao managed to win as a total outsider against Ledwaba "Unfortunately, the fight was considered such a mismatch that no casino would post odds on it."
"The guys at Top Rank were really giving me the business, saying that Manny didn't stand a chance and I'm trying to convince them that Manny is going to do a number on Ledwaba." " Top Rank was promoting the show and Manny's fight was the co-main event to Oscar De La Hoya vs.
Javier Castillejo, and Ledwaba was considered the class of the division." " Manny jumped on Ledwaba from the start and finished him in the sixth round. It was brutal. But what a night. I remember we all went to dinner to celebrate at some small restaurant near the MGM Grand."
" Manny and I went from strangers to a world championship team in about two weeks. It sounds like a movie, doesn't it?"