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Roach takes charge of Pacquiao's training camp


PhilBoxing.com




Manny Pacquiao's chief trainer Freddie Roach arrived in General Santos Monday and readily took over from assistant Buboy Fernandez in presiding over his prized pupil's training chores at the Pacman Wild Card Gym.

Roach arrived Sunday in Manila with Pacquiao's business consultant Mike Koncz from Macau then took a flight to GenSan early Monday morning at a time when the Filipino eight-division world champion was doing his regular 30-minute roadwork at the Acharon Sports Complex oval.

The duo did the mitts for several rounds later in the afternoon before overseeing Pacquiao worked with the bags, the double end and speed balls, skip rope and light limbering exercises.

Pacquiao has been training since early February for his coming rematch with undefeated American holder of the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt Timothy Bradley set April 12 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

The arrival of Roach, assistant trainer Nonoy Neri, also from Macau where three fighters under the MP Promotions won all via stoppage, completed the training staff along with Buboy and brother Roger "Haplas," who, for nearly three weeks, had been taking charge of preparations.

"Ayos naman, mukha namang satisfied si coach Freddie sa nakita niyang progreso ng training camp (Everything looked okay. I think coach Freddie is satisfied with the progress of the training camp,)" Buboy told this writer via phone while Roach and Pacquiao were doing the gym chores.

"We did naman what we're supposed to do, prepare Manny for an expected rigorous preparation regimen that coach Freddie will implement.

"Manny's ready for whatever he will undergo in his preparations."

"Our order was to get Manny ready, physically and mentally before plunging into the nitty-gritty of preparations and he is," Buboy observed. "Today, coach Freddie merely observed the gains we had just achieved in the initial three weeks of training. Siguro bukas, medyo mabigat na."

"Ang sabi sa amin ihanda si Manny sa anumang mangyayari, so from the start, we prepared him to run after Bradley should the champ resorts to the way he fought us two years ago, " Buboy said.

"If he opts to fight by mixing it up, Manny will also be ready for that. Basta ang bottom line is kelangan manalo kami ng knockout," he said. "Sio, ysun ang gagawin naming ensayo."

"Even Manny naman, sinabi kelangan manalo ng KO at handa siya na mangyari yun. Kaya naman sa body language niya sa ensayo sa early stage pa lang, talaga namang pukpok," he said. "Manny really is very determined to win by KO at bawiin ang koronang alam naman nating ninakaw sa kanya."

One other thing that drives Pacquiao to train as hard as he can is the teasing and insults the camp of Bradley have been throwing his way. "Galit na si Manny sa mga naririning niya kaya besides winning back the title, he also wants a sweeter revenge sa mga sinasabi ng kamp ni Bradley. And when he's mad, something bad to his rival is sure to happen," Buboy assured. "At pati kami, galit din."

Buboy said members of the training team have yet to meet and talk of the plans and strategy as they had barely seen each other since Roach arrived. "Maybe tonight Freddie will call us and chart what will be the course of training sessions."

He said sparring might start this week since one of his sparring mates, Lydell Rhodes, unbeaten in 19 bouts, has been in GenSan since Sunday last week.

Also being eyed to help are former world belt-owners themselves - ex-International Boxing Federation Steve Forbes lightweight champ and once WBO junior welterweight titleholder Kendall Holt - who, most-likely would join the team when preparations move to the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

Koncz, in a separate interview, could not yet tell when definitely the team will proceed to L.A., saying they still will have to talk about the plans.

Roach wanted to be at his L.A. Wild Card Gym by March 1 although Pacquiao had earlier announced he wants to resume training in the U.S. on March 12 yet or a month before the 12-round title fight.


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


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