Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pacman revs up training

By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao went about his business of shaping up for the Miguel Cotto fight yesterday, bloodying one of his sparring partners amid reports of fighting between two of his trusted men.

Pacquiao sparred 10 rounds on a relatively fine day in Baguio City. He did four rounds with Shawn Porter, three with Jose Luis Castillo and another two with Urbano Antillon.

Pacquiao was supposed to do three rounds with Antillon, but the Mexican fighter suffered a cut under his left eye, forcing chief trainer Freddie Roach to call in Porter for another round.

“It’s been a very busy week for Manny,” said his Canadian adviser Mike Koncz, adding that another sparring partner who’s in town, Danny Escobar, might be utilized starting on Tuesday.

“Escobar has been sparring with Antillon the past few days here and Freddie likes what he’s seeing. So Escobar might come in and spar with Manny in our last week here,” said Koncz.

After three weeks, Pacquiao has logged in 58 rounds of sparring. Last Thursday, he floored Porter, an undefeated junior middleweight, twice and reportedly bloodied Castillo’s nose.

This time, Antillon, who was supposed to fly home to the United States yesterday but was asked by Roach to stay, took the heat from the hard-punching Filipino southpaw.

“Urbano was cut,” said Koncz, who had a fight with Pacquiao’s conditioning coach
, Alex Ariza, the other day.

Based on reports, Ariza admitted throwing punches on Koncz who he claimed tried to block his accreditation to be in Pacquiao’s corner for the Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand.

Pacquiao’s bodyguards stepped in to halt the fight. Pacquiao was not around when it happened and did not make any comment on the incident.

Koncz, who talked to The STAR yesterday, said he’d rather focus on his job, and not create any distraction as Pacquiao moved closer toward the fight.

“I really don’t have any comment. I’m not the type who’s ‘gonna go to the media for this. I don’t have any problem. If Alex has a problem then that’s his problem,” said Koncz.

Ariza, a normally quiet guy, has helped turn Pacquiao into a well-oiled machine, hardly losing any of his speed as he moves heavier in weight, and it has resulted in three big wins – over David Diaz, Oscar dela Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

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