Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pacman Wraps Up RP Training, Mobbed by LA Fans Upon US Arrival

Ariel A. Avenasa

Ring Magazine's number one pound-for-pound boxer Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao completed the Philippine leg of his training preparations Saturday and has flown to LA to set camp at the familiar Wild Card Boxing Club of Coach Freddie Roach.

Filipino boxing sensation Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao and his team have officially wrapped up Saturday the Philippine leg of their training preparations for his upcoming fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on November 14.

Pacquiao spent his final training day in the Philippines by engaging in a 10-round workout with sparring partners Shawn Porter and Urbano Antillon at the boxing gym of two-time former world champion Gerry Peñalosa in Mandaluyong City.

The Pacman however took the sparring session lightly which did not amuse his disciplinarian coach Freddie Roach.

“He was just playing around too much,” said Roach. “This is the reason why I don’t like training in Manila because there’s just too much distractions”. There was a sizable crowd of spectators inside the gym. “I was telling him not to lose focus,” said Roach, in an article by Nick Giongco of Manila Bulletin.

Roach admitted when he guested at the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) Forum last Friday morning that Pacquiao has a tendency to get bored and not to beat up his sparmates once he gets too familiar with them. Because of this Roach said that a change in the roster of Pacquiao’s sparring partners will be in order once the team resumes training at the now famous Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.

Expected to get the axe will be Urbano Antillon, Danny Escobar, and former WBC Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. Undefeated Middleweight prospect Shawn Porter will be retained however while replacements Raymund Serrano and Ray Beltran will be providing a new challenge for the pound-for-pound king as they enter the final phase of training camp in the US, wrote Rene Bonsubre Jr. of Philboxing.com.

Three weeks into the fight and the team is still focused on their goals. As reported by Francis Ochoa of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Roach said that the Pacman is already in 90-percent shape. Pacquiao, who is always pre-occupied with a lot of other things, will also be allowed to continue with his lighter diversions after practice such as singing but definitely there will be no more basketball pick-up games.

In typical Pacquiao fashion, the team held a farewell mass Saturday afternoon at Gerry Peñalosa’s boxing gym in Mandaluyong before boarding a Philippine Airlines Flight headed for Los Angeles in the evening. According to Dr. Ed de la Vega of Philboxing.com, the team landed in LAX airport at 7:00 pm Saturday (LA time) where the Pacman was promptly mobbed by a sizable contingent of eagerly awaiting fans.

Pacquiao takes the day off on Sunday while the team regroups on Monday for the resumption of training at the now famous Wild Card Boxing Club of Coach Freddie Roach. Sparring sessions are scheduled for Tuesday.

Meantime, WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto who started his own training a month earlier than Pacquiao, is also in the thick of preparation and will be entering his tenth week of training camp based at the Fight Factory in Tampa, Florida.

They will meet on November 14 for a pay-per-view event that is expected to be the biggest fight of the year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. At stake is Cotto’s WBO Welterweight Title belt and possibly boxing’s pound-for-pound supremacy.

source: digitaljournal.com

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