Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:24
Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao tapers off his training regimen starting Monday at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Pacquiao, who is defending his 147-pound diadem against undefeated world junior-welterweight kingpin Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9 in Las Vegas, actually completed the most grueling week of his preparations on Saturday under the watchful eyes of Wild Card-owner and chief trainer Freddie Roach.
“We’ve actually completed our preparations,” Pacquiao told this writer in an overseas interview following his Saturday workout at the Hollywood sweat shop.
“Everything is there, power, strength, speed, stamina. Except for some minor improvements, I’m actually ready to fight,” Pacquiao declared. “But as I said, we still have to patch up things a little bit on some things.”
“We’ve also set in place our game plan and strategy. We just need to finalize them,” the fighting Sarangani congressman said.
Like when they pitched camp in Baguio City six weeks ago, Roach described the past seven days of tough grind as “very good” as he proclaimed the 33-year-old ward as "almost ready to make war."
“We’re almost there,” the 52-year-old future Hall of Fame trainer told this writer. “Everything’s going well that it’s time for us to taper off with our fine-tuning program.”
What came as sort of a welcome development was the arrival in Los Angeles of Filipino assistant trainer Marvin Somodio who flew in Friday night and rejoined the team Saturday.
After Saturday’s 10-round sparring, Pacquiao has so far logged some 90 rounds of ring skirmishes with regular sparring mates welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov, lightweight Rustam Nugaev and featherweight Kevin Hoshkins.
Provodnikov has been providing the eight-division champion the power approximating Bradley’s, while Nugaev and Hoshkins the speed and mobility of the challenger.
Pacquiao’s timing and ability to keep his distance from the enemy, which were lacking when the team left Manila three weeks ago, have improved a lot, related Roach.
“Perfect, everything's perfect. We’ll just be trying to maintain all the things we gained the past six weeks since we started the camp and improve a little bit more on things we still lack,” Roach disclosed as the main focus of the last week at Wild Card.
“The power in his left is back and so does his right,” Roach assured. “He’s totally regained his quickness and he moves well. He’s really good.”
“We’ll just be waiting for June 9 and see what Bradley can dish out as he keeps on promising in his press releases and give him what he doesn’t expect,” Roach remarked.
From 10 to 12 rounds of sparring the past three weeks, skirmish schedule will be reduced to eight, seven, six and four rounds the coming week. Doing the mitts will also be lessened.
The plyometric and isometric exercises to increase stamina will continue as well as workouts at the heavy bag, double-end ball and speed ball.
Both Roach and Pacquiao dismissed reports that the Filipino ring icon is being disturbed by the same-sex marriage controversy that cropped up the past two weeks.
“I have already said my piece. I have already apologized. And so had the writer that set off the controversy. Besides, I really didn’t mind it,” Pacquiao said.
“It’s all over and I didn’t see Manny distracted by the issue in the course of our training,” Roach, for his part, butted in.
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