Pacquiao shaking off rust
By Eddie Alinea
Tue, 15 Mar 2011
He looked rusty and lacked coordination in his moves, but world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s first two days in the Baguio City training camp more than made the grade in the eyes of his chief trainer Freddie Roach.
“Yeah, rustiness was very evident. Well, that’s expected for a guy who’s been inactive for almost four months,” Roach told Business Insight Malaya in a telephone interview yesterday, Team Pacquiao’s second day of preparation in the Pines City where the eight-division world champ has pitched camp.
“But that’s precisely the reason why we’re here, to recover whatever we lost from the time we saw Manny fighting in the ring November last year,” the 51-year-old four-time “Trainer of the Year” said.
“Whatever he now lacks in punching power, speed, coordination, everything, we hope to regain within the next few days before we go into the nitty-gritty of boxing,” Roach swore.
“What I want is, when we shift to sparring, which will come next week, we will only be polishing off what we would have gained here. And it looks like I will get what I want in the same manner that I got what I wanted in our last important fights,” the trainer, who spared no words in praise of Pacquiao’s attitude, revealed
Roach said Pacquiao did road work at Burnham Park Monday and at the Sta. Lucia hilly Heights subdivision, near Team Pacquiao Headquarters at Cooyesan Hotel yesterday.
Like Monday, Pacquiao did the mitts with his trainer for seven rounds after doing calisthenics, punching the heavy bag, double end ball and speed ball, routine parts of the training regimen he and conditioning coach Alex Ariza line up at least in the first week of building up.
Ariza, like Roach expressed satisfaction with what he saw in Pacquiao’s 15-round jog-run routine at Burham Park and a 25-minute ascend-descend workout at the steep Sta. Lucia mini-mountain.
“For a man who’s been inactive for so long, I was amazed with what I’ve been witnessing,” Ariza, who was wrongly reported to have fell out of the graces of both Pacquiao and Roach, said.
“And with what I saw the past two days, I don’t see any reason why Manny couldn’t reach his peak comes fight time,” he said in reference to Pacquiao’s coming title date with Sugar Shane Mosley May 7 in Las Vegas.
“They said preparations came rather late. Well, that’s what they think. But Manny is a different kind of fighter. He’s not ordinary. He knows when and where to start. We’ve seen him, you and I, many times and he always surprised both of us and all the rest,” Ariza recalled.
“It was a very good start. I have no doubt we will achieve what we will be trying to accomplish, and more,” he assured.
“As I told you the other day, Manny has the capability to adjust to any given situation, especially at this stage when our only target is shed off the rust, loosen the entangled muscles brought about by a long layoff,” he reasoned out.
(File photo - Pacman with Ariza two years ago at the Gerry Penalosa gym)
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