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ROACH GIVES PACQUIAO SATISFACTORY GRADE IN FIRST DAY OF SPARRING


PhilBoxing.com


Although he admitted Manny Pacquiao still has a lot of things to work out, celebrated American trainer Freddie Roach gave his brightest pupil a satisfactory grade in his first sparring session yesterday against Mexican lightweight prospect David Rodela at the world-class Rex "Wakee" Salud Gym in Brgy. Punta Princesa, this city.

Pacquiao kept on landing well-calculated jabs at first, but was too complacent on defense, enabling Rodela to connect a couple of solid head shots.

Pacman, however, fought impressively on both offense and defense in the second round with flashes of his electrifying hand speed and rapid-fire combinations that rocked the Mexican on several occasions.

Midway in the third round, Pacquiao sneaked in a powerful left straight that sent Rodela wobbling against ropes and then snapped to catch up his breath.

"He got hit several times, but we're not rushing things for him. He'll get better. We've got a couple of guys coming in. I'm very happy though for the first day. He's very good," said Roach.

Unlike Pacquiao's previous triumphs, Roach said they're going for the kill against Marco Antonio Barrera using body shots.

"That's our plan, to work on the body. Breaking fighters down is the key. I think that's how we gonna win this fight, with body shots. That's what we're working on and he paid off today," said Roach. "Also, our goal is make his right hand better than the left. We'll get there soon."

As usual, Rodela is very impressed with Pacquiao's graceful movements, but noticed something new on Pacquiao's fighting tactics.

"Yeah, I got hurt. You know he hits really hard. He's fast, he has a lot of quick movements and this time what I noticed he uses a lot more things. He pretends that he's going to you with his jab then he comes to show his left. It's working really nice," said Rodela.

Rodela, a pro fighter from Oxnard, California who holds a professional record of 7-1(4KOs) hopes to acclimatize with the country's hot weather quickly and be in top shape so he can be a big help to Pacquiao's rigid training regimen.

"I'm not used to the humid weather. It's really, really hot in here. I need to get, you know, on the same condition that he (Pacquiao) has so our sparring will be better and I can help him off," said the 25-year-old Rodela.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel B. Villaruel.


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