‘Happy’ Pacquiao steps up training
HOLLYWOOD—When Manny Pacquiao is not pummeling his sparring partners at Wild Card Gym, he is assaulting the hills of Griffith Park here.
This is the eight-division world champion’s alternating routine since arriving to this glitzy city from General Santos City on March 12 for the final phase of his preparations for a third showdown with Timothy Bradley on April 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“He went all-out in sparring Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila),” said David Sisson, Pacquiao’s personal assistant, Wednesday night as he described the ten-round spirited punch exchanges between the Sarangani representative and either Ghislain Maduma or Lydell Rhodes. “It looks like a real fight and he seems to be enjoying every minute of it.
“It’s really different when his family is around, he’s happy and vibrant,” added Sisson, child of GenSan-based American missionaries who is set to marry a Filipina soon.
Pacquiao’s wife and Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee planed in Sunday while his brother, Rogelio, and father, Rosalio, arrived Wednesday. His mother Dionisia will follow soon.
Sisson, who is also fluent in Visayan and Filipino, was among the lucky few granted access to Pacquiao’s closed door sparring sessions at chief trainer Freddie Roach’s famed gym.
As to Pacquiao’s ascents, Sisson said only a handful, including Pacquiao’s dog (Pacman), manage to keep in step with the Fighter of the Decade.
“The crowd watching him doing workouts after the runs are also getting bigger,” said Sisson. “Tomorrow (Thursday) he may not jog at Pan Pacific (Park) as he’d be sparring in the afternoon.”