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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

PACQUIAO BEGINS SPARRING

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
23 Sep 2016



For the first time since dropping then World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley twice on the way to an easy unanimous decision triumph last April, fighting Senator Manny Pacquio had the taste of what it feels climbing the ring again against someone throwing punches at him.

After logging some 60 rounds doing the mitts since he started preparations for his comeback fight against current Mexican-American 147-pound belt owner Jessie Vargas in November, Pacquiao, who himself held the same crown twice, punished local lightweight Leopoldo Doronio in four rounds of sparring last Thursday.

The Pacquiao-Vargas 12-round championship encounter is set November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center inside the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Still a bit rusty but yet possessing a shade of speed and power that earned him the distinction of being the only man to capture world plums in eight weight divisions, the soon-to-be 38-year-old ring icon pummeled the hapless former Philippine no.1 ranked 130-pound campaigner, nearly decking him several times with flurry of lefts and rights to the body and head.

The abrupt and unscheduled sparring, according to strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, was hatched only the day before by Pacquiao himself.

"He suggested it himself, perhaps to get himself ready for the tougher and heavier leg of our build program which starts Monday with the arrival of Freddie (chief trainer Freddie Roach)," Fortune told this writer following the four-round skirmish.

"Okay lang, Freddie is arriving Monday with my regular sparring partner so I thought it better to at least have the feel of what it is to be in the ring again," Pacquiao said in aggreement, referring to word-ranked light-welterweight Jose Ramirez, picked to help him prepare for he title-fight.

"It's been four months since I last fought and I thought it better to get myself ready for whatever training regimen Freddie has prepared," Pacquiao, a former congressman representing the province of Sarangani, reasoned out. "I'm sure mabigat na ang training pagdating ni Freddie."

"Anyway, sarap naman ng pakiramdam na nakatuntong muli sa ring. Dagdag na pagod at sakit ng katawan, siyempre, pero part of training. Sanay na tayo dyan. Habang buhay na nating ginagawa ito," the fighting lawmaker, who came to the training venue after a day's work attending a senate justice committee hearing and a regular Upper House session, said.

After sparring, the Pacman also worked with the mitts with assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez besides capping the day at the routine heavy bag, double end and speed balls, skipping rope, shadow boxing, mat exercises and prayer.

"Grabe energy ng boss ko. Maghapon nagtrabaho sa senado pagkatapos ng roadwork sa umaga tapos ensayo uli sa gabi," commented Pacquiao's chief security Caloy Homo. "And he's been doing that six days a week for four months now."

"Kayang-kaya nya yan. Eh 21 years na nga nya ginagawa yan. Magtataka pa ba tayo," butted in Choy Garcia, another member of Pacquiao's security group. "Masaya syang ginagawa yan."

Doronio, meanwhile complained of body pains following the punishment the Fighter of the Decade dealt him.

"Ang bigat ng kamay ni Manny, and he' too fast for a man who had been idle for a long time," Doronio griped. "Puro nga sa hangin tumama ang mga suntok ko, Kawawa makakalaban ni boss."


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