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PACQUIAO BACK IN THE U.S.


PhilBoxing.com




Manny Pacquiao and his team left Saturday night for Los Angeles confident of whipping the defending World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion into top competitive form heading to his title fight with American pretender Adrien Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao who turned 40 years old just a week ago, is spending the last stop of his preparedness program at the Freddie Roach-owned Wild Card Gym in downtown Hollywood for the first time in two years since regaining the World Boxing Organization version of the 147-pound crown.

It will also be the first time that the Philippine fighting senator is fighting in the U.S. soil and under the watchful eyes of Roach in that two-year stretch although this time, the Hall of Fame trainer?s role is only that of a supervisor to now chief cornerman, his assistant for 16 years and Pacquiao?s childhood friend Buboy Fernandez.

The 12-round confrontation is set at the MGM Grand Arena, site of the Fighter of the Decade's many battles en route to becoming an eight-division champion. He last fought in the Grand Arena on April 9, 2016 when he scored a unanimous decision triumph over Timothy Bradley in the last of the two finest welterweight in the world?s trilogy.

Before taking a Philippine Airlines non-stop flight to the world?s entertainment capital, Pacquiao rounded out his three-week training camp here with an eight-round sparring with Greek-Australian lightweight George Kambosos Jr. and Philippine welterweight titleholder Jeritz Chavez at four rounds each at the Elorde Boxing Gym in Pasay City.


Manny Pacquiao runs inside the Dasmarinas-Forbes Park subdivisions Saturday morning and spars with George Kambosos in the afternoon before taking a Philippine Airlines flight in the evening heading for Los Angeles.

He started his final day preparation in Manila with a two-mile roadwork at the running circuit inside the Dasmarinas-Forbes Park Villages in Makati City under the supervision of assistant trainer Roger ?Haplas? Fernandez, younger brother of Buboy.

Buboy, another assistant trainer Nonoy Neri and Haplas accompanied their boss in the flight to L.A. Australian-American strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune left on Wednesday last week to prepare his own Fortune Gym, also in Hollywood, in the event Pacquiao decides to also use is facilities.

A day after his big birthday celebration on Monday last week, Pacquiao, without the benefit of a rest, immediately buckled down work, hitting the Acharon Sports Complex oval then proceeded to his own Pacman Wild Card Gym at the heart of General Santos City and worked the mitts with Buboy.

On Wednesday, also last week, Buboy and company increased the training load to eight rounds of sparring plus the more rigorous and energy-sapping plyometric workout aimed at building Pacquiao?s muscle structure to an explosive state.

?Wala talaga kaming pahinga. After the party, which lasted in the wee hours of the next morning, sabak uli sa training to make up for lost time,? Haplas attested. ?Mabigat ang laban, so, we need to complete, an extensive program we charted.?

Haplas, winner of a car in the ruffle held during Manny?s b-day bash, said training frequency will switch from heavy to heavier in their first two weeks in the L.A. leg of preparation, after which, when the program?s aim is achieved, tapering off period will follow.

?Training is okay. Walang problema. We?re on track kahit may mga araw na naka-kansel, which, after all, allowed Manny to rest. Senador ang boxer natin, marami ring trabaho pero nama-manage naman,? Haplas said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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