LOS ANGELES — Manny Pacquiao was given the green light Thursday by trainer Freddie Roach to spend what was supposed to be his first day of training with his friends after the two arrived here close to midnight from a two-city promotional tour in Dallas and New York for the March 13 fight with Joshua Clottey.
“See you on Friday, Manny,” Roach told his prized pupil late Wednesday night at a private hangar near LAX International, fresh from a six-hour flight from Newark, New Jersey that made a brief refueling stop in Denver.
“Just take the day off. Rest,” said Roach.
Pacquiao had wanted to show up at the Wild Card in Hollywood on Thursday as originally planned but because of their late arrival back from the tiring tour, the Filipino had no choice but to skip training.
“Okay, coach, I will do that,” said Pacquiao, who was joined in the press tour by Canadian adviser Mike Koncz, lawyer Franklin Gacal and training assistant Roger Fernandez.
At the Wild Card on Vine Street, security chief Rob Peters was already on hand to enforce rules, knowing that Pacquiao would start his workout but he will have to wait for another day.
When Pacquiao goes to the gym Friday, nobody will be allowed in except of course for members of Pacquiao’s team from 12 noon until 4 p.m. until March 8.
Despite missing one day, Team Pacquiao is not worried.
Conditioning coach Alex Ariza said there is still enough time to whip Pacquiao into his old fiery form, stressing that he is the most hardworking athlete he has seen.
“We’re still okay and you know Manny, when he starts training it would be impossible to tell him to stop,” said Ariza, who has the major role of making sure Pacquiao reaches peak form in time for the 12-round welterweight clash set at the Cowboys Stadium.
Since Pacquiao and Clottey are slugging it out at the welter limit of 147 lbs, Ariza said Pacquiao will tip the scales exactly at 147 but will not allow him to bloat.
“He’ll weigh 149 lbs by the time he enters the ring.”