Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Pacquiao moves camp to GenSan

While his fellow lawmakers in both Houses of Congress stand to enjoy the Christmas recess, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao returns to the road and gym to resume training for his upcoming title-defending bout with American challenger Adrien Broner a month and four days from today.

Both Houses adjourned on Wednesday afternoon after a joint session tackling 2019 budget with Pacquiao lowering the curtain on his Metro Manila training camp working the mitts and doing the plyometrics for the first time to get himself ready for a tougher and a more extensive second leg of preparations in his hometown General Santos City.

?Now comes the more serious and more rigid part of our preparedness program,? Pacquiao, who, will be celebrating his 40th birthday on Monday told this writer while partaking a late dinner following the training session at the Elorde Gym inside the Mall of Asia commercial compound.

Pacquiao and his training team ? chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, Nonoy Neri, Roger ?Haplas? Fernandez and Jonathan Penalosa, with barely a rest, flew to GenSan early morning Thursday.

Manny Pacquiao (R) jogs with his entourage Friday morning, Dec. 14, in his hometown General Santos City in southern Philippines ahead of his world title fight against Adrien Broner of the United States on Jan. 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photos by Wendell Alinea.

?The training regimen gets heavier and heavier and it?s good the senate is in recess, so, wala nang distraction,? the only human being in the history of sweet science to capture world titles in eight weight divisions, said.

His duties and responsibilities as member of the Philippine Senate somehow distracted the reigning World Boxing Association titlist?s training program since his team pitched camp late last month. At least four workout days were cancelled to give way to attending sessions and committee meetings, including last Tuesday?s sparring.

?Pinanumpaan ko sa ating mga kababayan ang pagiging senador, so it should be my priority. I owe it to our people,? Pacquiao explained. ?With the senate now in recess, mabibigyan na natin ng sapat na panahon ang ating hanap-buhay.?

True to his words, barely hours after his arrival at the GenSan International Airport, the fighter-turned lawmaker was at the Pacman version of the Wild Card gym at the heart of the city.

Performing the job he?s been doing the past 23 years that has given him 12 world championships in the flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, super-lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight.

He boxed for six rounds with Greek-Australian sparring mate George Kambosos Jr., did the mitts for five rounds with childhood pal-turned chief trainer Buboy Fernandez and two rounds each with the heavy bag, double-end ball, speed ball, ending the day?s work with the plyometrics.

This writer had no way to know whether he still played basketball, a routine he?d either start or end his training day for no one dared answer his numerous calls afterwards.

Probably because everyone was already fast sleep following a hectic day that saw them wake up at dawn to catch the early morning flight to GenSan then attend the training session.

The same frequency will apply on Saturday with sparring and punching pad as the main course of the regimen. Like in the Manila camp, sparring will be on Tuedays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while other gym activities, including the muscle-building plyometrics (twice a week), scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Roadwork will be on a daily basis although the mountain-climbing run along the treacherous 950-feet above sea level highway of Maasim in nearby Sarangani Province will be limited to twice a week frequency, according to Fortune.

Pacquiao is putting his 147-pound jewel on the block against the younger 29-year-old Broner on January 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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

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