Pacquiao shows preview of what’s to come in latest spar session
HOLLYWOOD — They were trading punches near the corner of the ring when Manny Pacquiao suddenly recoiled with a lead left and a right cross that sent Ghislain Maduma all the way to the ropes.
Pacquiao didn’t follow-up, of course, they were just sparring and it was supposed to be just a sweating it out session at the conclusion of his training at Wild Card Gym here.
Actually, it wasn’t even a strong punch, and a long one at that, but it reminded everyone present that Pacquiao still packs a mean wallop, even with his surgically repaired right shoulder.
Pacquiao’s explosion became the highlight of his workout Monday (Tuesday in Manila) as he and chief trainer Freddie Roach went over their drills one more time before leaving for Las Vegas late in the afternoon.
Throughout the four-round sparring, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez was busy hollering instructions to Pacquiao, who was holding back with his power punches.
Clearly, one of the strategies was for Pacquiao to apply constant pressure on Bradley wherever he goes.
“Don’t give him distance so that he won’t be ready (to counter), said Fernandez, with Roach watching intently at the corner.
The opening round was quite tame even as Maduma tried to stalk Pacquiao, who was unloading jabs to the face and straights to the body alternately.
In the third round, Pacquiao peppered Maduma with left straights and combinations to the body. As Maduma retreated Pacquiao continued to harrass him, flicking jabs.
With time winding down in the fourth, Pacquiao allowed Maduma to hit him in the body before countering with a flurry, mixing rights and lefts.
When the final bell rang, Pacquiao and Maduma hugged each other as blood brothers, with Maduma joining camp in General Santos City nearly seven weeks ago.
As Pacquiao approached Roach, the seven-time trainer of the year nodded in approval of his ring performance.
According to Fernandez, he’d told Pacquiao to knock Bradley out early so as to quash any doubts about his punching power and leave boxing in a blaze of glory.
In an interview with Maduma later, the Congolese-Canadian said Pacquiao overwhelmed him and confirmed Fernandez’s wishes.
“Just too much for Bradley this time and is going to stop him.”