Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Manny breaks tradition, starts sparring in LA

source: Abac Cordero | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao broke an old practice when he sparred on a Monday (yesterday in Manila) at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

Pacquiao arrived in LA last Saturday and rested the following day in time for the resumption of his training for the big fight set Nov. 12.

Pacquiao normally spends the first Monday in LA breaking sweat and loosening up as he prepares for the tough grind.

But he chose to spar when normally he spars on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

He did a total of eight rounds, four each against Jorge Linares and Ray Beltran, and was quick to impress those who were around him.

“It was the best first day of sparring I’ve had with Manny,” said Beltran, an old hand at Team Pacquiao.

He said it seemed that Pacquiao never left the gym since beating Shane Mosley last May.

“No rust, just speed and power,” said Beltran as quoted by Top Rank publicist Fred Sternburg on his twitter account.

Pacquiao did three weeks of training in Baguio City and the moment he stepped out of the LAX three nights ago said he was “80 percent” ready for the fight.

Even Freddie Roach was impressed and said he can’t wait for the reigning pound-for-pound champion to lay his hands on Mexican foe Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao will resume sparring on Thursday against Beltran and an African sparring partner. Linares is getting all set for his Oct. 15 fight with Antonio deMarco.

As he geared up for his first day of training at the Wild Card Gym, Pacquiao spoke to and talked about the importance of the fight.

It’s his third against Marquez, and hopefully the last, following two bouts that ended in controversy, a draw in 2004 and a split decision for the Filipino in 2008.

Marquez claims up to this day he won both fights.

Pacquiao is taking it as a motivation.

“Yes. I feel that, you know, there’s an extra motivation for this training camp I think because of what happened in our last fight,” he said.

“This fight, this will be the answer to all of the doubters about whether or not I lost to my opponent.”