MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao started getting into shape on Thursday, and as part of the hard grind ahead, he reluctantly agreed to do away with the long locks that may interfere with his training.
After playing basketball in General Santos City, Pacquiao realized that the loose hair strands interfered with his vision and went to his barber before intensifying preparations for his May 7 showdown against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With buddy and trainer Buboy Fernandez coaxing him, the pound-for-pound king also did stretching exercises and jogged for 20 minutes to build up his stamina for the rigorous eight-week training charted by chief trainer Freddie Roach.
The five-time Trainer of the Year will be arriving from Los Angeles on Tuesday, bringing along super welterweight Shawn Porter and super lightweight David Rodela as Pacquiao’s initial sparring partners.
Briton Amir Khan, the World Boxing Association light welterweight titlist, is also coming to work out with the eight-division world champion in the training camp set in Baguio City.
Khan, who will stake his title against Irish Paul McCloskey on April 16 in Manchester, England, also trains under Roach.
“Road work and conditioning muna (first),” Fernandez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the phone on Thursday. “He (Pacquiao) had a long layoff and needs to build up his stamina.”
Pacquiao last fought on November 13, when he dominated Mexican Antonio Margarito to claim the World Boxing Council 154-pound crown.
“He looks fine,” said Fernandez, who estimated Pacquiao’s current weight at 155-158 pounds. “We don’t need to rush things as he may become too light, too soon.”
After spending four weeks in Baguio, Pacquiao will proceed to Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on April 2 for the final phase of his training.
There, Roach will provide him with two more spar mates who could approximate the power, moves and quickness of Mosley.