By NICK GIONGCO
Pacquiao’s high-octane training reaches another level this weekend as the Filipino pound-for-pound king is scheduled to spar 12 rounds at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood under the supervision of Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao has gone beyond the halfway mark of the targeted 150 rounds needed to whip himself up for the November 14 fight with Miguel Cotto after breaking the Philippine leg of his five-week training over the weekend.
“We’ll do 10 rounds on Tuesday, 11 (on Thursday) and 12 (on Saturday),” said Roach, who arrived in Los Angeles with Pacquiao and other team members for the final three weeks of preparation.
Pacquiao should have his hands full at the Wild Card since Roach has recruited two additional sparmates replacing Urbano Antillon and Jose Luis Castillo.
Roach has tapped super-featherweight Raymundo Beltran of Arizona and welter Raymond Serrano of Pennsylvannia to join super-welter Shawn Porter in the remaining sparring days as Pacquiao has shown signs of boredom the last week.
After this week’s tough grind, Roach said they’ll start to taper off gradually.
Pacquiao and Cotto will fight at a catch weight of 145 lbs and Pacquiao’s handlers are supremely confident that making it will not be a problem.
When Pacquiao left the country, he weighed around 147 lbs, according to Roach.
Conditioning coach Alex Ariza said Pacquiao will likely tip the scales at 143-144 lbs on the eve of the fight and won’t be more than 148 lbs when he climbs the ring at the MGM Grand the next day.
Pacquiao is a -225 favorite, while Cotto is a +185 underdog, according to oddsmakers. (A $225 bet on Pacquiao wins $100, while a $100 wager on Cotto wins $185).