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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


Pacman’s build-up program starts Monday

By Eddie Alinea
20 Apr 2018

KUALA LUMPUR – The road to wining another world title begins Monday when Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao returns to the road for the first time in nine months in preparation for his coming fight against World Boxing Association welterweight belt-owner Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.

The 39-year-old Pacquiao, now a senator, who has so far won 11 world titles in eight weight divisions, will be challenging Matthysse for the latter’s 147-pound plum on July 15 (July 14 in the U.S.) at the Axiata Arena here in the hope of regaining his glorious days as champion deprived him by Australian Jeff Horn who dethroned him of the World Boxing Organization version of the same category July 2 last year in Brisbane.

No less than Pacquiao himself told this writer of starting his training during breakfast Friday after arriving in this Malaysian capital following a four-hour trip from Manila on board a Philippine Airlines chartered flight.

Pacquiao and Matthysse, who was also in the same flight with their respective teams, came here for the second leg of the media tour set late mid-morning Friday at the posh Le Meridien Hotel to promote the July 14 collision.

“Light roadwork lang muna. Halos one year tayong nabakante, baka mabunsol,” Pacquiao said. “Maybe after a week of roadwork, we can start with the gym regimen of preparation. It depends really on how my body responds. Pahiyang pa lamang kumbaga.”

Buboy Fernandez, who will act as chief trainer in the absence of Pacquiao’s 17-year trainer Freddie Roach, whose fate is still to be decided, agreed.

“Actually, it’s really too early to start training. Three months pa before the fight. But when he suggested that we start right after the presscon, pumayag ako agad kasi na-realize ko kung ano ang gusto niyang mangyari,” Buboy explained.

“Napaka-importante kast talaga na magsimula kami nang maaga. Pare-pareho kaming nawala ang isip at katawan sa boksing. We really have to feel our way back to what we’ve been doing for a long time,“ he pointed out.

"We all know naman na Manny plays basketball almost two to three hours daily at tiyak din natin na nasa kondiyon siya. Eh iba naman kasi ang basketball sa boksing," Buboy said. ”Ang basketball leisure at cross-training lang, ang boksing, propesyon.”

When the Senate is in recess, training would be in General Santos City where the Pacman owns a gym. If not, preparation will be in Manila.

Buboy, meanwhile, said he doesn’t mind whether he should play the role as chief trainer as reported. Assistant trainer ako habang buhay ko kaya ang tatrabahuhi ko ay yung nauukol sa pagiging assistant habang wala pang official announcement sa talagang status ni coach Freddie.”

“Pinaka-the best best trainer ay si coach Freddie. Hall of Famer at pitong beses na nagawaran ng karangalang Trainer of the Year. Labing-pitong taon akong understudy ni coach Freddie at inaamin ko naman na napakarmi kong natutuhan sa kanya puwede kong ipatupad.”

“Kapag ang naging opisyal na desisyon ay talagang wala na siya sa amin the pipilitin kong kayahin ang gawaing iaatang sa aking balikat,” Buboy’ has been at Pacquiao’ beck and call throughout his boxing career vowed.

“Kapag siya pa rin, tatanggapin ko rin, afterall, si Manny pa rin naman ang pagsisilbihan ko. Wala namang kahalagahan ang maging hepe ka o maging assistant ka lamang. Ang importante alam mo ang trabaho at kayang gampanan,” Pacquiao’s boyhood pal and neighbor in their growing up days at Barangay Labangal in General Santos City said.

Photo: Trainer Buboy Fernandez speaks to the media as Manny Pacquiao listens during Friday's press conference at the Le Meridien Hotel in Kuala Lumpur announcing the upcoming for the Pacquiao-Matthysse fight on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur.

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