For the nth time, boxing hero Manny Pacquiao will be leading a dual life of a boxer and a lawmaker for a month and-a-half or so.
Pacquiao on Monday started that kind of life that began when he was elected congressman for two terms in 2007, then as senator in 2016 besides fulfilling is calling as a prizefighter that has given him 11 world championships in eight weight divisions.
The “Pacman,” who is turning 40 on Decemer17, opened his training camp on Monday in preparation for his coming title fight with American challenger Adrien Broner set January 19 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Monday’s activities included an hour roadwork a Forbes Park in Makati, near the house he been renting in nearby Dasmarinas Village and a brief workout at the Elorde Boxing Gym inside the vast SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
In the absence of chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, who flew to Polangui town in Albay upon his arrival on Sunday from the two-city press tour held in New York and Los Angeles to promote the fight, American conditioning coach Justin Fortune and assistant trainer Roger ‘Haplas’ Fernandez supervised opening day gym training regimen.
Pacquiao did the mitts fur five rounds with another member of the training team, Jonathan Penalosa. He also visited the heavy bag, double end and speed ending the day’s chores with floor exercises.
The Manila camp ends when senate sessions take recess December 12, the day training moves to General Santos City. Pacquiao and his team fly to Los Angeles December 22 following celebration of his 40th birthday where preparations resume.
While here he expects to run every morning in the vicinity of his official residence, attend to his duties as a lawmaker from mid-afternoon to early evening daily then resume training the rest of the day.
Pacquiao could actually be in the session hall as early as 10 a.m. to attend committee hearings of which he is a member or chairman.
But wait, count the meetings and social gatherings that require his presence, including prayer rallies and bible reading sessions he is obligated to attend and, indeed, Pacquiao will be leading a busy, tough and grueling life at least until before fighting Broner.
“Matagal na nating ginagawa ito mula ng pimasok ako sa government service, kaya sanay na tayo, “Pacquiao told this writer via text message. “Time management lang naman ad kailangan.”
“He can do it. Mahirap-hirap lang di gaya nung dati, pero knowing Manny, kakayanin nya,” lawyer Tom Falgui, Pacquiao’s chief legal counsel, said.
“Time management nga lamang naman and Manny has been doing that since he was still a congressman. Konting adjustment lang sa oras,” Falgui added.
By EDDIE G. ALINEA