PACQUIAO STARTS SPARRING THURSDAY
By Eddie Alinea
Tue, 24 Sep 2013
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) -- A little more than eight weeks before he faces American Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao starts the sparring aspect of his preparations Thursday, four weeks earlier than his traditional four-week schedule in his previous fights.
Korean Orient-Pacific light-welterweight champion Min Wook-Kim will have the distinction of testing first the gains the world eight-division champion has achieved since pitching camp here a week ago when the two trade punches at the Pacman Wild Card Gym.
A technical knockout victor over Japanese Valentino Hosokawa last Aug. 18 to wrest the OPBF 147-pound crown, Min, according to two-division titlist Gerry Penalosa is just what the doctor prescribes as the Pacman’s spar mate at least this, in the earlier stage of his built up program.
“Parang si Rios ang kilos,” Penalosa, who personally recommended the Korean to both Pacquiao and his chief trainer Freddie Roach, attested. “Strong, quick at pasok din nang pasok.”
“I told Manny and Freddie na pakikinabangan si Min at least at a time when they are still scouting to a regular sparring partner,” Penalosa told the Philippines News Agency in a telephone interview.
The tall, 5-foot-9 Min who owns an impressive 11-1-0 win-loss-draw record with 8 KOs in a young two-year professional career, is scheduled to fly in Wednesday from Seoul where he is presently based.
Min will immediately proceed to General Santos City to report for work until Roach arrives first week of October with, possibly, one or two regular spar mates in tow.
If plans do not miscarry, Min might also fight in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Rios encounter set November 24 in Macau at the posh Cotai Arena inside the Venetian Resort.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, began doing the sprints Tuesday morning at the Acharon Sports Center oval as part of his roadwork.
“Isang set pa lamang naman ng 100 meters ang ginawa naming,” assistant trainer Nonoy Neri said before Pacquiao took to the Wild Card Gym for his usual punching the mitts regimen with Buboy Fernandez.
A visit of two to four rounds at the heavy bags, double end ball, speed ball, skipping rope and shadow boxing completed the day’s routine.
“Nagdagdag na kami ng sets sa bawat bahagi ng session para magtuloy-tuloy na ang momentum,” Neri said. “Two days from now, sparring ini-schedule na ang sparring.”
“Si Manny na ang may gusto na mapaaga ang sparring. Ibig lang sabihin noon, nasa kondisyon na siya para doon,” he explained. “Next week, magsisimula na kami ng plyometric at isometric exercises for conditioning purposes.”
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