BAGUIO CITY (PNA) -– Six rounds of punching the mitts with chief trainer Freddie Roach and a 15-minute roadwork in the scenic Burnham Park opened recently Manny Pacquiao’s fine-tuning regimen in this city.
Pacquiao will fight undefeated American Tim Bradley on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Manny shows old, deadly form on first day of training [/box]The World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion was still far from being in full competitive shape, but he nevertheless showed his old, deadly form despite staying away from boxing for five months following his lackluster fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in November last year.
He still has the power in both fists and speed in his footwork. Roach himself could not help expressing his amazement of his ward’s present form.
“Now I believe in what I’ve been hearing that Manny, indeed, has been working out in the province the past several weeks,” said Roach, who earlier admitted he had no inkling on what the camp could do until such time he meets Pacquiao in person.
“I don’t know how hard the preparations would be because I haven’t seen Manny since I arrived in the country some two weeks ago,” Roach confided to this writer a day Pacquiao and his team were scheduled to show up at the Shape Up Gym in the Cooyeesan Hotel, the official camp in his training in this City of Pines.
“As I have been saying, we’ll have to work… Work and work hard as soon as we open shop. Now I would say that it wouldn’t be as hard as I imagine we would go,” he said.
“The early start (in Manila and later in General Santos City) really makes it easy for us here in Baguio,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.
Another good news is that the 52-year-old Roach expects none of the distractions that marked Pacquiao’s preparations before as the Filipino ring icon has undergone a self-imposed change in his lifestyle. Not even his Bible-preaching advocacy would distract him. .
“I have no problem with that. At least God is with him now. Well, as long as God doesn’t tell him to stop punching,” Roach, a Catholic, said rather jokingly.
The first session included several rounds on heavy bag, double-end ball and speed ball that was capped by the usual conditioning exercises under the watchful eyes of stamina-builder Alex Ariza.
The frequency in every aspect of the regimen will increase as the days go by so that by the time training shifts to sparring, everything would be in place, Roach said.
Hard-hitting Russian junior welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov was scheduled to arrive here early last week. Hewill be Pacquiao’s sparring mate for the duration of the Baguio Camp which will last in the eve of the team’s departure for Los Angeles on May 5.
The original plan was to have Pacquiao complete 30 rounds with the mitts by the end of the week. But since the former pound-for-pound king’s arrival here was delayed for two days, Roach said they can complete only about 20 to 24 rounds.