Pacquiao impresses Roach on first day of LA training camp-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
MANILA - A more powerful, faster Manny Pacquiao reported at the Wild Card Gym Monday (Tuesday in Manila), creating a good impression on those who witnessed him do the mitts and other gym activities in the very first day of his Los Angeles (LA) camp in preparation for his coming fight a month and eight days from now.
Trying to bounce back from a controversial majority decision loss to American Timothy Bradley last June, the Filipino boxing treasure will be up against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez who is his dancing partner atop the square arena for the fourth time on December 8 in Las Vegas.
And if what chief trainer Freddie Roach and his assistants saw was for real, then Marquez, the Mexican legend who has been disputing the 2-1 win-draw that Pacquiao fashioned out in their first three dates, stands to face trouble in Chapter IV of their storied rivalry.
"Good day to start a camp," Roach said in a telephone interview two hours after his prized pupil left the Wild Card Gym along Vine Street in Hollywood in LA.
"If Manny can maintain this same dedication and enthusiasm the rest of the way, then I can say we will have another successful camp here and accomplish what we're aiming for," the 52-year-old Hall of Famer said.
"We still have a long way to go, it's only the start of a final six weeks of preparations, but I think, as reports from Manila said, Manny's really prepared to punish himself in training here," Roach said.
Pacquiao, actually, was to do the mitts with Roach for eight rounds, but asked for two more additional rounds to complete the session.
"Bitin pa, eh, matagal ko nang hindi nasusuntok si Freddie," Pacquiao said in jest. "I'm really thirsty to do my things inside the ring. I've been inactive for the last four or five months. At saka sabi ko naman sa iyo (this writer), hatak na hatak na ako sa ensayo sa Pilipinas pa lang."
Pacquiao's physical status will further be tested as sparring sessions begin Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) with old sparring mates Ray Beltran and Russian Ruslan Provodnikov.
A third sparring mate, welterweight prospect Frank Gomez, is scheduled to fight this coming Friday and would not be available till next week.
Before doing his things inside the gym, Pacquiao started the day with a 30-minute roadwork at the hilly Griffith Park.
Besides Roach, only his assistants Buboy and Roger "Haplas" Fernandez, who supervised Pacquiao's initial three-week training in General Santos City; Marvin Somodio, Nonoy Neri and conditioning coach Alex Ariza and the regular Wild Card staffers were the only ones inside the Hollywood sweat shop as a closed door session was strictly enforced.
Ariza, according to Somodio, whom Roach hired as a regular staffer following the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, is back to take care of the conditioning needs of the eight-division world champion.
The Colombian conditioning guru had a temporary falling out with the team when he abandoned the camp in Baguio City at the height of the Filipino ring icon's preparations for the Bradley fight.
"Kondisyong-kondisyon talaga si Manny. At hindi nawala ang lakas ay bilis," Somodio, a former amateur standout recruited by Roach from the Shape Up Boxing Stable at Cooyeesan Hotel in Baguio noticed. "Ganadong-ganadong mag-ensayo first day pa lang." (PNA/Sunnex)