Trainers employ ‘shock’ routines for Pacman make-or-break bout
KUALA LUMPUR—Manny Pacquiao opted to skip gym work and instead went for a jog under overcast skies on Tuesday afternoon here.
Five days before what he described as an “important fight” of his career, Pacquiao decided to follow what his body says and take it slow.
“I am more than ready and excited to show the Malaysian fight fans the fruits of hard training and preparation,” said Pacquiao as his July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse got hyped by local television, newspapers and billboards across this city.
The Filipino global superstar, preparing for the battle that could either extend his glorious career or end it altogether, said he had a “great training camp.”
Conditioning coach Justin Fortune said he “shocked his body into working,” after a year-long respite following his unanimous decision loss to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane.
“Oh, we changed things around, changed training routines, stuff that shocked his system,” said Fortune, who once fought Lennox Lewis as a heavyweight contender. “He (Pacquiao) had more plyometrics, more circuit training, like shocking his body into working again.”
Fortune said Pacquiao thrice did “power gliding,” an uphill jog on a terrain in General Santos City that he described as “brutal and horrible that conquering it means a lot (psychologically).”
Meanwhile, Matthysse went straight to the gym put up right on the massive driveway of the Le Meridien Hotel after the traditional welcome by media and supporters.
The Argentine’s public relations director Ramiro Gonzalez refused to let anyone inside his noonday training amid buzz that the reigning World Boxing Association welterweight champion is “seven pounds overweight.”
Pacquiao, according to head trainer Buboy Fernandez, is at 145 pounds “eating regularly,” but he would like him to be at 146 on Thursday’s weigh in, and 150 lb on fight day.
Matthysse is said to normally climb the ring at 160 lb with his vaunted punching power intact.
For Fernandez, Matthysse is a combination of three other fighters whom his best friend had fought before.
He compared the Argentine titlist to Mexican slugger Hector Velazquez, all-out brawler Brandon Rios and Pacquiao archnemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
While there were no problems with Velazquez and Rios who both suffered punishments from Pacquiao’s fists, Fernandez is convinced that Matthysse will try to pull off a Marquez.
“I see what they are trying to do, to work on the timing of his counterpunch like Marquez,” said Fernandez. “But we already worked on it, we’ll let him (Matthysse) come to us and then we attack.”
Fernandez said Matthysse won’t be able to stand waiting for the counterattack.
“We devised a plan for him to make a move,” he said.
Before stunned spectators in 2012, Marquez dealt Pacquiao his worst defeat when the Mexican knocked him out cold via a perfectly-timed right to the face in the sixth round of their fourth and last fight.
Fernandez said he would prefer Matthysse play that game because “we are preparing something for him. He will be met by a storm.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.