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Freddie Roach compares Mark Magsayo to Manny Pacquiao: 'They have great hand speed'

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is singing praises for WBC world featherweight champion Mark Magsayo ahead of his first title defense against Rey Vargas on Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

According to Roach, Magsayo is similar to his top pupil Manny Pacquiao, whom he helped propel to winning titles across eight divisions.

"Mark has been a pleasure to train. He is dedicated to his craft and eager to learn. Best of all, he has shown improvement with every fight. I am very proud to be his trainer," Roach told Bad Left Hook.

"Both Manny and Mark have great hand speed and an incredible work ethic. They also are never satisfied with giving 100 percent. They dig down deep for that extra effort in training camp, and in a fight, to give themselves an advantage. Both are fierce competitors."

Come fight night, the unbeaten Magsayo (24-0, 16KOs) will find himself trading leather against a gritty Mexican who stands at 5-foot-10 paired with a reach of 179 cm. Roach, however, is unbothered, saying that Magsayo has figured out fighting tall boxers in training camp.

"It takes time for fighters to figure out how to break down their taller sparring partners, and effectively attack them, but like Manny, Mark has adapted and is getting more confident each day of sparring."

—MGP, GMA News