Pacquiao to start sparring Saturday; Roach arrives
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Sparring sessions of world eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will start on Saturday but training session on Thursday afternoon at the Pacman Wild Card Gym was already declared off-limits to the media.
“As usual, the same rules apply. The training session starting today is off-limits to the media. Only the members of Team Pacquiao will be allowed inside,” Chief trainer and head coach Freddie Roach told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in interview at the Acharon Memorial Sports Complex.
Roach added that those who were allowed to get inside were advised not to take video footage or even pictures of the training.
Roach arrived here Wednesday with two sparring mates in tow.
“I brought along two sparring partners. The two others are still coming. The first sparring session will be on Saturday,” Roach said.
The two sparring partners were Russian-born but now American citizen Stan Martiniouk, 29, and Mike Jones, 31.
The 5’10 Martyniouk, a former sparring mate of Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, totes a record of 13-2 with two knockouts.
The 5’11 1/2 Jones, with a record of 26 wins, 19 knock outs and one loss, was once a North American Boxing Association (NABA), North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight champion.
Also included in Roach’s entourage were WBC Lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (29 wins, 22 knockouts, 3 losses and 1 draw) and IBF Super Middleweight champ Lucien Bute (31-2, 24 knockouts).
One of the two other Pacman sparmates who will arrive from the United States anytime now, is the 30-year old Ukrainian boxer Viktor Postol (26-0, 11 KO).
Postol is the unbeaten WBC light welterweight Silver champion and stands 5’11.”
He won the WBC title with a rousing 11th round TKO against Selcuk last May 17, 2014. He is ranked No. 1 by the WBC and No. 7 by the WBO.
Meanwhile, Roach claimed Pacquiao made a promise to him that he would play just once in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
“He asked me to allow him to play just once. We already talked about that. I don’t want him to get injured playing basketball,” Roach said.
The Filipino boxing legend would fly to Manila in the morning of October 19 to catch up with the scheduled afternoon game of KIA Sorento against Blackwater in the opening day of the PBA tournament in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“I have no training during Sundays so I can fly to Manila to be with the team. Maybe I would play for about two minutes then focus on coaching. This is just to show support for my team and the PBA,” Pacquiao told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in Cebuano.
According to him, he’s aware about the utmost importance of staying healthy during the training camp in preparation for the Nov. 23 fight with American boxer Chris Algieri in Macau, China.
“I know what to do inside the court to avoid injury. So, my coach and the fans have nothing to worry about. I knew how to take care of myself,” Pacquiao said.
The Filipino boxing superstar thanked Commissioner Chito Salud and the PBA Board of Governors for their concern and moral support.
“It is touching to hear such kind words from a respected PBA official. In my own little way, I’d like to help my team and the PBA. Thanks to the PBA officials, players and the fans for giving me such a rare chance to fulfill my dream,” Pacquiao said.
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