Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pacquiao is still human after all

LOS ANGELES, California – With his meteoric rise to the of boxing, one would think that Manny Pacquiao – the reigning pound-for-pound king – has superhuman powers.

His lung capacity is phenomenal.
Manny Pacquiao Billboard
In a cold Wednesday morning, Pacquiao took the hills of Griffith Park, where the famous Hollywood sign is located

Instead of taking it easy, the Pinoy boxing icon attacked the first two miles of concrete leading to the LA Observatory at a decent time of 18 minutes and seven seconds. (When in peak form Pacquiao’s time is 17:30.

Seven hours later, Pacquiao was at the WildCard Gym pounding coach Freddie Roach’s target mitts for 12 non-stop rounds.

So, how do you explain that a fighter like Pacquiao, who is just 10 days into his preparations for his March 13 title duel against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey, is nearing his peak form?

Roach has the answer.

The four-time trainer of the year winner said that in between all the late nights, partying and campaigning after the Miguel Cotto fight last November, Pacquiao has kept himself in good shape.

"The condition we had for Cotto carried over to this training camp. We didn’t lose the condition for this fight," said Roach as he watched Pacquiao work on the speed ball.
But while almost everyone marveled at the seven-division world champion’s condition, a chink in his armor surfaced.

Thursday was sparring day for Pacquiao and he skipped the morning jog to prepare him for the afternoon sessions.

Pacquiao started the first half of his sparring like a house on fire, displaying his hand and foot speed to a sizeable crowd at the WildCard Gym.

But midway into the session, Pacquiao seemed to have lost a beat or two. Still he managed to finish the eight rounds of sparring.

And in one rare occurrence, I overheard the defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion complaining of soreness in his leg and arm muscles to assistant trainer and long-time buddy Buboy Fernandez.

It seems that the intense running, pounding the mitts, hitting the heavy bag and sparring have taken its toll on Pacquiao’s body.

Roach later told me that though he is happy with the pound-for-pound king’s overall condition, he still needs to work on his timing inside the ring.

As good and as great as he is right now, Pacquiao is human after all.


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