MANILA, Philippines?Probably taking the cue from Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao is himself slowly and quietly pulling the curtains down on his own training.
Suddenly, Freddie Roach has stopped pulling off publicity stunts like pinning De La Hoya?s mug shot on his shirt while mitt training. And Pacquiao himself has ceased to make any statement except for his weekly column in a local tabloid.
Roach has also ordered his Wild Card gym locked down, even to giant media outfits like HBO, which will carry the Dec. 6 Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight on pay-per-view and produce a 24/7 four-part series.
The training is also remarkably somber with the absence of people inside the famous Hollywood training spot.
?It?s good this way because Manny is always generous with his time, and he always wants to talk with people. It?s good this time with the gym being locked so he can focus more, it?s good,? he added.
De La Hoya has kept his preparations close to his chest since stepping up his training some three weeks ago.
He even skipped the recent Kelly Pavlik-Bernard Hopkins fight, co-promoted by his very own Golden Boy Promotions, to avoid disrupting his training under Mexican guru Ignacio ?Nacho? Beristain at the Big Bear Mountains.
De La Hoya recently tapped Victor ?Vicious? Ortiz to become his main sparring mate. The 21-year-old super lightweight is a noted southpaw with the style and moves similar to the Filipino pound-for-pound master.
Only Pacquiao?s childhood buddy Buboy Fernandez has managed to provide updates about the Filipino pride and joy, who will wage the biggest battle of his career against De La Hoya at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Fernandez told the website www.boxingherald.com that Pacquiao is now down to 150 lb?just three pounds off the catch weight of 147 in the non-title bout?even while wearing shirts and pants.