Just another busy Sunday for PacquiaoBy Roy Luarca |Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOLLYWOOD—What was supposed to be a rest day turned out to be another busy Sunday for Manny Pacquiao.
The eight-division world champion took a break from his training, fulfilling instead his spiritual, moral and familial obligations.
After the 8:30 a.m. Mass at Christ the King Church, Pacquiao attended his own Bible study session at The Palazzo, partook a late lunch, greeted his well-wishers, then played with his children late in the afternoon.
It was a schedule that would have zapped out ordinary mortals, but not Pacquiao, who’ll be staking his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against unbeaten American Timothy Bradley on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao even seems to draw strength and inspiration from the novelty of his undertakings and the presence of his wife Jinkee and their four children at his home in the gated The Palazzo residences.
Though feeling famished, rubbing his stomach before the Bible study started, Pacquiao settled for a bottle of mineral water and enthusiastically took part in the proceeding conducted by preacher Jeric Soriano before close to a hundred adherents, including the PNP Servant of God choir.
Only after the session that began and closed with meaningful yet upbeat songs was over did Pacquiao retire to his room upstairs to eat with his family and close associates.
Pacquiao wolfed down the goat kilawin and adobo, which was later deep-fried, according to assistant trainer Nonoy Neri who doubles as the Fighter of the Decade’s personal chef.
After the hearty meal, Pacquiao spent quality time with Jimuel and Michael, who tinkered with their IPads, while Princess played with her Hello Kitty dolls and Queenie slept soundly. Feeling invigorated, Pacquiao allowed Manila-based sportswriters to take pictures and field some questions.
According to Pacquiao, he eats what he wants and as much as he likes but is still certain of making the 147-pound limit in the official weigh-in on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I’m maybe at 150 (pounds) now,” said Pacquiao, using his fingers to circle his wrist and come up with the estimate. “Weight is never an issue for this fight.”
Team Pacquiao will officially conclude training camp at the Wild Card Gym with a four-round sparring session Monday afternoon, before motoring to Las Vegas in a convoy that includes the customized luxury Pacquiao bus emblazoned with his image.
Pacquiao said his Bible studies never interfered with his training under the stewardship of Freddie Roach and Filipino assistants Buboy Fernandez and Neri, who revealed that he’ll be working Pacquiao’s corner for the first time with Roach, Fernandez and master cutman Miguel Diaz.
“You not only become relaxed, but also strong,” said Pacquiao.
Switching the topic back to his new passion and calling, Pacquiao said he’ll be professing his faith before a projected crowd of 20,000 at the glitzy city on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the fight with Bradley.
With his family by his side, Pacquiao will stay in the United States for another one week after the June 9 bout to shoot movie scenes with American actor Rob Schneider.