Pacquiao spars with Mayweather look-alike | Inquirer Sports

Pacquiao spars with Mayweather look-alike

/ 11:14 AM March 20, 2015
Manny Pacquiao AP

Manny Pacquiao   AP file photo

LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao has been training hard for his upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., even taking on Floyd look-alike Kenneth Sims Jr. on Thursday.

“He’s a Floyd Mayweather look-alike. He can simulate the moves and shoulder roll defense of Mayweather,” coach Freddie Roach said of Sims, who is also known as the Bossman.

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The 21-year old Chicago-born Sims was an eight-time US national boxing champion, who had beaten Christian Steele in January.

With an impressive card of 5-0, two knockouts, the 5’10” Welterweight was described by Roach as “a slick boxer with power and good hand speed.”

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The other boxer, who traded gloves with Pacquiao, was 5’9” Lightweight Edis Tatli, 27, of Helsinki, Finland.

Roach said he was happy with what he had seen during the sparring sessions.

Pacquiao’s assistant trainer, Raides “Nonoy” Neri said the old Manny Pacquiao was back, with insane hand speed and devastating punching power.

READ: Fast-paced fight will favor Pacquiao, says UFC champ Frankie Edgar

“He was so strong and so quick. It was so delighting to watch him train. This is the Manny Pacquiao of old!”  Neri said after watching the 10-round punishing mitts session between Pacquiao and Roach on Wednesday at the famed Wild Card Boxing Gym along Vine St. here.

Neri compared the current Pacquiao to the “same guy,” who demolished Puerto Rican slugger Miguel Angel Cotto on November 14, 2009.

READ: Cotto picks Pacquiao over Mayweather

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“This is the same Manny Pacquiao who beat Cotto black and blue during their fight. With his speed and power, I doubt if the May 2 fight would last the full distance,” Neri added.

Referee Kenny Bayless stepped in to stop Pacquiao’s demolition of Cotto in the last and final round of their 2009 ring duel dubbed “Firepower.”

After the mitts session, Pacquiao spent one round pounding the heavy bag and six minutes each hitting the double end and spend bags.

On Thursday, it was his time to spar with Sims and Tatli.

Roach has earlier said he has hired younger sparring mates to train Pacquiao “balls-to-the-wall” in preparation for the May 2 fight against Mayweather.

“I decided to get young fighters as sparring mates to push him (Pacquiao) to the limit. Young fighters have better stamina and more aggressive,” Roach said.

Pacquiao’s sparring session is being done thrice a week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Everyday, I am reviewing the video tapes of Mayweather’s previous fights. We want to win this fight and we want it via knock-out,” Roach said.

Roach declared that he had already studied even Mayweather’s dirty tactics using both his elbows and shoulders.

He described Sims and another boxer, “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis (13-0, 10 KOs), as tall and young at 21.

“They are gifted with power and blazing hand speed and can simulate Floyd’s fighting style,” Roach added.

The 5’9” Ellis, a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, has impressive boxing records which include a 2012 National Police athletic League Championship crown, three-time New England Golden Gloves Championship plum, Rocky Marciano Amateur Boxing Tournament title and a silver medal at the Independent Cup in the Dominican Republic.

Roach noticed that since they made a successful tandem more than a decade ago, “Manny has never been so motivated as a fighter. He has never been in superb physical condition than this time.”

“I can see it in his eyes. I can read based on his body language and attitude in training that he really wants to win and win decisively,” he added.

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TAGS: Boxing, Edis Ttalim, Floyd Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Freddie Roach, Kenneth Sims Jr., look-alike, Manny Pacquiao, Nonoy Neri, Pacquiao vs Mayweather US, Rashidi Ellis, Sparring, sparring partner, Training
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