LOS ANGELES, California: “Good, very good. I’m impressed!”
This was how Manny Pacquiao’s chief trainer, former chief trainer-turned consultant Freddie Roach described his ex-ward’s performance in an eight-round sparring session on Tuesday at the Wild Card Boxing Gym here.
Roach added, though, Pacquiao, who is in deep preparation for his coming fight with fellow WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman still needs some improvement on everything he’s gained following a three-week camp in Manila.
Pacquiao, the regular WBA 147-pound titleholder and Thurman, the “super” titlist, clash on July 20 to determine the sole owner of the division belt at the MGM Grand Arena.
“It’s only the first day and as we go on, he’ll get to what we want him to go,” the seven-time “Trainer of the Year” said.
“But everything they did in camp in Manila has been good. The speed is there, the strength, everything, “ he said echoing the training team, headed by now head trainer Buboy Fernandez had assessed before the team’s departure to this entertainment capital of the world.
Even welterweight Arnold Gonzales, who was part of the sparring team in Pacquiao’s fight against Adrien Broner last January, was impressed with the eight-division belt-owner’s performance.
“He’s still the same. Nothing has change. He even improved his head movement. Very confusing,” Gonzales, a Ecuadorian who grew up in New York, attested.
Besides Gonzales, junior-welterweight AB Lopez also had all praises on Pacquiao’s quickness and power punching.
“This is the first time I sparred with him and this is the first time, too, that I had encountered a very fast two-handed boxer like him,” Lopez said.
Fresh from a rigorous mountain-climbing run on Monday at the scenic Griffith Park, where he negotiated the hilly 4.25-mile distance in a fast 42-minute clip, the fighting Philippine senator took to the flat Pan Pacific running circuit earlier Tuesday.
He ran the 3.77-mile distance in 29 minutes and 42 seconds.
Pacquiao and his running team returns to Griffith Wednesday morning to continue with his muscle explosiveness and stamina
The procedure, which is to compliment the plyometric training system that started last week in Manila, will continue with its thrice-a-day frequency until the team leaves for Las Vegas a week before the fight, according to strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.(By Eddie Alinea)