GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 Oct.) — Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is now almost in peak form for his upcoming welterweight fight with Mexican-American brawler Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau.
Assistant trainer Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez said Monday Pacquiao is now about 90 percent of his ideal fighting form and continues to get stronger by the day as his intense training camp closes in towards the homestretch.
“In terms of stamina and punching power, our congressman is now almost back in full fighting form,” he said in a radio interview.
On Monday morning, Fernandez said Pacquiao and his three sparring mates — Briton Liam Vaughan, Ghanaian Fredrick Lawson and Filipino Dan Nazareno Jr. — completed an eight-kilometer run on a grueling uphill portion of the national highway in Barangay Tinoto in Maasim town.
Pacquiao was able to finish the run in just 30 minutes, a feat he described as quite extraordinary claiming ordinary athletes usually hurdle the said stretch in about an hour.
“Naunahan pa nga nya yung kanyang spar mates. Malayo talaga ang lamang at consistent na mabilis ang takbo nya,” he said.
Based on Pacquiao’s daily training schedule, he takes a few hours of break after his morning run and resumes his training in the afternoon under Coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym here.
Fernandez said they are so far satisfied with the performance of Pacquiao’s sparring mates, who take turns in imitating Rios’ fighting style.
“Rios is a known workhorse so we’re targeting to complete 125 to 130 rounds of sparring sessions for this fight,” he said.
Fernandez said their camp has so far drawn up several game plans focusing on getting an early knockout win for Pacquiao, who is making a comeback after last year’s twin losses — a questionable split decision to undefeated American Timothy Bradley and a knockout against Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
He said they are preparing for several scenarios of the fight, specifically possible switches to the fighting strategies of Rios, who is known for his aggressive style.
“We’re focusing on both offense and defense. We are making all the necessary preparations as we can’t afford to take any chances,” he added.
Team Pacquiao has earlier scheduled to leave for Macau on Nov. 18 or about a week before the scheduled fight. (MindaNews)