MANILA, OCTOBER 25, 2008 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Freddie Roach has no plans of working late when Manny Pacquiao takes on Oscar dela Hoya on Dec. 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The two-time Trainer of the Year, this early, is saying that the fight won’t last the distance.

“Ninth round,” Roach told GMANews.TV yesterday when asked if he had any predictions on how the fight would end.

Of course, Roach is confident that Pacquiao will knock out Dela Hoya, the bigger but older fighter between the two.

Roach thinks that “9” is the lucky number for Pacquiao who also stopped David Diaz in the ninth round last June 28.

Roach had predicted a ninth-round knockout by Pacquiao over Diaz, who was then the WBC lightweight champion.

Pacquiao is in his third week of training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and on Wednesday (LA time) he sparred five rounds.

It was the most number of sparring rounds in a day for Pacquiao so far in his training for the Dela Hoya fight – the first sessions being four-rounders.

“It was a great day. Manny handled the jabs very well. It was a great workout overall,” Roach told the giant TV network’s online section.

Roach and Pacquiao have been busy preparing for Dela Hoya’s jab and left hook, and to do so the Pinoy superstar has been sparring against boxers as tall as 6’0 and as heavy as 160 pounds.

“We’re covering our bases, that’s right. Whatever [Oscar’s] got, we’re prepared for it. Whatever he’s bringing, we’ll be ready for it,” Roach said.

Pacquiao sparred before a very limited audience, as Roach kept the doors to the Hollywood gym closed while the session went on.

Last Monday, a commotion broke out inside the gym when one of Pacquiao’s friends in LA was asked to leave the premises, and claimed that he was “hit from behind” by Roach.

But those who were around said the American trainer never hit the complainant, Greg Asuncion, who even called 911 and the police to the scene.

“We didn’t even talk about the incident. It was all work, all training inside the gym this afternoon,” said a Team Pacquiao insider.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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