Roach opens Pacquiao spar session to select Filipino media
HOLLYWOOD — Finally, Freddie Roach granted the media access into the inner sanctum of his Wild Card Gym to watch Manny Pacquiao spar with Ghislain Maduma Saturday afternoon.
It was the first time since Team Pacquiao resumed training camp here on March 14 that Roach allowed five Manila-based sportswriters and a television crew to have a glimpse of Pacquiao in actual combat, not just hitting the mitts, bags and speedball.
There was one cardinal rule though: No cameras, no videos.
The sparring went like this:
The first round was a virtual warmup with Maduma the aggressor. Pacquiao was flicking left jabs and right straights to the head while Maduma was throwing body punches.
It was Pacquiao’s turn to attack in the second as he opened up with a 1-2-3 combination to the head. Pacquiao unloaded body blows then landed a right hook and a left straight as he caught
Maduma in the corner. Clowning, Pacquiao did a two-handed pompyang punch on Maduma’s ears before the bell rang.
Pacquiao concentrated on cutting the ring in the third. Moving in and out and throwing left straights. Maduma countered with body blows. In one stance, Pacquiao put up a defensive stance and told Maduma to hit him repeatedly. Maduma obliged with body and head shots.
Turning serious, Pacquiao poured it all in the fourth, unleashing strong lefts and straights while penetrating Maduma’s defenses.
Pacquiao uncorked a 1-2-3-4 combination to the head, capped by a right straight.
With preparations winding down, Pacquiao was just sweating it out, finding his timing and rhythm and Maduma has proven to be a capable partner since their first sparring on Feb. 23 back in General Santos City.
The second sparmate, Lydell Rhodes, was also present, but chief trainer Freddie Roach found no need to use him.
As usual, Pacquiao has developed a bond with Maduma, who hugged him at the end of their sparring,and Rhodes.
Roach said Pacquiao will still spar Monday, just to sweat it out, before Team Pacquiao heads to Las Vegas in a luxury bus bearing his image and a convoy of SUVs and cars.
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