Roach: Pacquiao ready to fight Bradley
HOLLYWOOD—Like a recharged battery, Manny Pacquiao was full of power and energy in sparring and training Saturday.
He was so impressive that chief trainer Freddie Roach promptly declared that he’s “ready to fight (Timothy Bradley) Monday.”
“Yes, he’s ready,” Roach told Filipino media at his Wild Card Gym here.
Reinvigorated by a training break given him by Roach Friday afternoon, Pacquiao seemed to be young again throughout the two-hour afternoon session.
He ran circles around sparring partners Ghislain Maduma for five rounds and Lydell Rhodes for four rounds, even busting the lip of Congolese-Canadian Maduma, who mostly imitates Bradley’s offensive stance.
Pacquiao’s intensity and ferocity spilled over to the mitts session, where he repeatedly tagged Roach with crisp combinations, the sound of impact of which reverberates up to the parking area of the closed door gym.
But Pacquiao wasn’t through yet.
The eight-division world champion displayed extra aggressiveness as he banged the heavy bag, the double-end bag and the speed ball with impunity.
For a long time there, Pacquiao looked like in his mid-twenties again and not the 37-year-old that he is.
No wonder, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez declared: “Basta itutumba natin yan (We’re going to knock him out), referring to Bradley, who’d never been stopped in compiling a 33-win, 1-loss-1 draw, record spiced by 13 knockouts.
That lone blot, of course, was dealt the 32-year-old Bradley by Pacquiao in their rematch in 2014.
Now, they have a score to settle and Pacquiao wants to show the native Californian that he’s really the superior fighter.
Roach’s decision to give Pacquiao a break Friday apparently did wonders as the Sarangani representative breezed through the five-kilometer early morning run from his home in North Plymouth to Pan Pacific Park, had a good rest and was energized for the afternoon workout.
“He looks good, he looks sharp,” said Roach. “He’s training as hard as ever.”
Roach should know as they’ve been together since 2001, when Pacquiao wrested the International Basketball Federation super bantamweight title from South African Lehlo Ledwaba in a major shocker.
After the 28-round workout Saturday, Pacquiao returned to the ring and did his abdominal exercises with help from assistant trainer Nonoy Neri and supervision from strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.
Not contented with the usual routine, Pacquiao occasionally hit his stomach with both fists, preparing for a body assault by Bradley in their third showdown on April 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
As usual, Pacquiao closed the day by bowing his head and saying a prayer.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.