By Eddie Alinea
Tue, 02 Oct 2012
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA)- A repackaged Manny Pacquiao is what boxing fans all over the world will see when the eight-division world champion battles Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on December 8 at the MGM Grand.
"Yeah, a Pacquiao remake is what we will be introducing to the boxing world in Act IV against Marquez in their storied rivalry," Pacquiao's childhood buddy and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez declared in an interview, while waiting for the 'Fighter of the Decade' to arrive at the People's Champ Gym inside the Family Country Hotel compound here.
"It was , incidentally, Manny's idea to focus on what we had been doing in his early days of fighting to regain his status as to have retired such boxing legends as Oscar DeLa Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera and several others via either knockouts or technical knockouts," the heavy-built Fernandez, who's been Pacquiao's sidekick through thick and thin the past three decades, said.
"Kaya nandito kami ngayon (General Santos) , isa sa mga sa lugar kung saan ay nagsimula ang kanyang career as a fighter," Fernandez added by way of explaining the choice of this city where to pitch his training camp at least in the initial stage of preparations for his coming fight, which was normally in Baguio City.
"I knew it from the time I put the gloves on his hands before our light training session last week na gusto niya talagang sariwain ang mga una naming pagsasama at pagbuo ng team on the way to becoming one of the greatest boxers, if not the greatest, in this era," he reminisced.
"Magandang laban ito," or words to that effect ang sinabi niya sa akin noon, which to me was an indication that he really is willing to undergo that kind of preparation that will take him back to why he became the first man in the history of boxing to crown himself champion in eight different weight divisions, Fernandez, who besides boxing is also in motorsports, swimming and taekwondo, noted.
"That was the first time that he uttered those words to me. To me, those words connote a lot of meaning. Yun na nga na handa na naman siyang mag-sakripisyo para maibalik yung panahong hinahangaan at nirerespeto siya ng lahat ng tao," he said.
"Para sa akin,' maganda ding tahakin niya muli ang mga pinagdaanan niya," he added. "Malayo na rin naman talaga ang narating ni Manny. Mula boksing, naging entertainer at pulitiko. Naging congressman, siguro nga dapat mag-boksing muli. "
"Magre-retire? Eh babalik nga uli sa boksing, paanong magre-retire? May mga gusto pang gawin si Manny at may naisip na ako kung ano-ano. Isa doon ay yung pinakamalaking labang haharapin niya na alam na natin kung sino," Fernandez said, obviously referring to Floyd Mayweather Jr., owner of a piece of boxing's pound-for-pound best.
Fernandez commented that retracing the route that made him one of the greatest, if not the greatest fighting of his time, is one of the changes Team Pacquiao will be putting in place in the build-up to Act 4 of the Pacquiao-Marquez classic.
"Haven't you notice, and haba ng training period namin ngayon. We started the last week of September and the fight is still December 8. Meaning we will be spending more than our usual eight-week camp," he explained.
"This will be our longest training camp, I tell you. And, again, me ibig sabihin ito. Bahala na kayong mag-isip kung ano yun," he said with a wide grin.
(Top File photo- Pacquiao with Buboy Fernandez in Baguio)
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