Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fewer sparring rounds this time for still-fit Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines—In each of his last few fights, Manny Pacquiao logged at least 150 rounds of sparring.

Now, master trainer Freddie Roach wants to limit the Filipino superstar to 110 rounds in his preparation for Ghanaian Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

Noting that Pacquiao is nearing peak form early, Roach told GMA 7 News’ Chino Trinidad on Tuesday that 100 to 110 rounds will be sufficient to prepare Pacquiao for the defense of his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against the bigger Clottey.

Pacquiao has logged 32 sparring rounds with still a month left in training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. He has dominated bigger and taller fighters like Bryan Brooks, Golden Gloves champion Joseph Benavidez, Mike Dallas and Ray Beltran.

“We don’t need 150 rounds for this (Clottey) fight, maybe about a hundred, maybe 110, somewhere in that neighborhood,” Roach said.

Pacquiao, the trainer said, is still sharp from his 12-round demolition of Miguel Cotto last November.

Roach is trying to bring in Ghanaian welterweight Abdullai Amidu (18-0 with 17 knockouts), who last fought in 2005, to provide some quality sparring for the pound-for-pound king.

“Manny is doing great in sparring and we are studying his game plan,” Roach said. “He’s not ready to fight yet but we have about four and a half weeks till fight night and he will be ready then.”

After watching Clottey’s fights, Roach believes that the Ghanaian is fated to become Pacquiao’s fifth straight knockout victim after David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto.

Though Roach acknowledges Clottey’s strength and granite chin, the four-time Trainer of the Year and Hall of Famer believes the Ghanaian makes too many fundamental mistakes which Pacquiao could exploit on fight night.


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