Manny Pacquiao impresses in first spar session
MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao sparred for the first time Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday in Manila) and looked like he’d never left the ring.
The eight-division world champion, preparing for his megabuck bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 in Las Vegas, tested Finn lightweight Edis Tatli for two rounds and then took on Chicago lightweight prospect Kenneth Sims Jr. for three rounds at the closed-door Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Pacquiao did not disappoint as he showed the 5-foot-10 Smith (5-0, 2 knockouts) and the 5-foot-9 Tatli (24-1, 8 KOs) the hand and foot speed he’s noted for.
Chief trainer Freddie Roach was impressed.
“Manny looked so fresh today,” Roach told Philboxing.com. “I’m very happy with what he showed me. You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since the (Chris) Algieri fight in November. Manny is on fire in the gym.
“It was a beautiful performance on a beautiful day.”
In a GMA news clip Wednesday, Roach said Pacquiao executed movements designed to get out of a trap and avoid such situations.
Pacquiao was also satisfied with how the sparring session went.
“My sparring partners gave me good work today. They were perfect for testing the strategy Freddie and I have developed to beat Floyd. I was very happy with my stamina and speed today.”
Pacquiao intends to chase down Mayweather in their welterweight unification title fight set at MGM Grand, so he’ll need to be in super shape.
According to Roach, he has signed up six young and fast sparring partners for Pacquiao this training camp. Roy Luarca