Philippines, 22 Feb 2020
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PACQUIAO FEELS GOOD


PhilBoxing.com


CEBU CITY -- Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao finished a killer run up the steep and occasionally winding road in the heart of the new Alta Vista subdivision next to a picturesque golf course here in Cebu and when the gruelling morning workout was over smiled and said "I feel good."

Those around him including celebrated trainer Freddie Roach looked pleased with what they saw while Roach whose opinion matters the most told Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today "Manny is doing fine. Everything is where I wanted it to be."

The thing that Roach wanted most was a gym where it was quiet, free from distractions and crowds who bothered Pacquiao during his workout the first two days of the week and he got what he wanted the last two days.

Pacquiao's friend and confidant Rex "Wakee" Salud who owns the RWS Gym which is small and humid took immediate action after Roach threatened to pack his bags and go home. Salud installed tight security measures to such an extent that ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo said "you could have heard a pin drop. It was eerie compared to the other day" when crowds swarmed the gym and reportedly even upset Pacquiao.

Pacquiao's younger brother Bobby Pacquiao was run into the ground in the grueling uphill stretch and lingered way behind Manny before getting aboard one of the media vans trailing the ring warrior.

Workers building huge homes in the sprawling subdivision stopped and waved and cheered Pacquiao with shouts of "idol, idol" piercing the warm morning air. A topo-notch TV crew from HBO, the world renowned network for boxing, had a three-man crew headed by George Jankovic trailing Pacquiao and capturing every move and every word he uttered for a 30 minute pre-fight documentary program to air one week before the October 6 rematch with legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

ABS-CBN'sCastillejo, the remarkable young lady who has chronicled Pacquiao's every move in recent years was also shooting for her Sports Unlimited show and the regular newscasts while Viva Sports and Viva Prime are also here shooting footage and interviewss for a pre-fight one hour special on the top-rated weekly boxing show "The Main Event" on RPN 9. GMA which is hooking up with Solar Sports to telecast Pacquiao-Barrera had a local reporter and crerw following Pacquiao.

After some furious shadow boxing, a wipe-down and a change of clothes Pacquiao walked downhill for some distance, stopped to pick some berries from a roadside tree which tasted sweet, screamed across a deep ravine to a group of workers on a hill on the opposite side and gave them a clenched fist sign as thoiugh to tell them he was ready for Barrera.

Pacquiao's frame of mind after some weeks of irritation over a needling press appears to have changed. His wife Jinkee arrived on the same Philippine Airlines flight with us on Wednesday evening along with their baby daughter Divine Grace who will celebrate her first birthday on October 1. It is Jinkee's second visit to Cebu to show her husband she is behind him all the way.

She told Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today that she didn't want to bring the baby girl along but that Manny insisted he wanted to see his only daughter. Their two sons stayed behind because of school.

Pacquiao and his entourage proceeded to the residence of Salud for breakfast but Roach went straight back to the hotel to prepare for Pacquiao's workout at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Roach said Pacquiao will run on flatland tomorrow and spar in the afternoon with Raymund Beltran and David Rodela while Salud also brought in two local boxers to vary things a little especially since Rodela fell ill.

Pacquiao and Roach are scheduled to leave for Los Angeles on September 22 where Pacquiao wind down training at the Wild Card Gym and then taper off in Las Vegas.

HBO's George Jakovic, a former athlete and a lifelong boxing fan said he was surprised to see the amazing shape Pacquiao was in after reading stories that spoke of late nights, pool halls and fun times. Taking a look at Pacquiao's workout Jakovic said that while Barrera was a great fighter he said in his own eyes there was no way he could beat Pacquiao if this keeps up.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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