Pacquiao working on counters in bruising sparring sessions
HOLLYWOOD—AB Lopez was sporting a welt on his nose bridge and another on his forehead as he emerged from a four-round sparring session with Manny Pacquiao on Thursday.
The session, the last of the 45 rounds he had with the 40-year-old Filipino superstar, was particularly bruising and saw both fighters exchanging heavy blows that silenced the crowd at Wild Card Gym.
“Manny is moving his head more yeah, Poom. Poom. Poom,” the 23-year-old welterweight slugger told the Inquirer, animatedly. “He’s taking his time. He knows [Keith] Thurman will throw heavy punches.”
A couple of times the 5-foot-9 American, who is trying to give Pacquiao a feel of his welterweight championship foe, landed solid blows on the Filipino icon, who would then counter with big combinations.
“Oh, he hit me hard; this is going to hurt in the morning,” said Lopez touching his bruise.
Lopez said Thurman, the 30-year-old undefeated owner of the WBA welterweight super title, will go for his vaunted heavy punches, hooks and overhand rights.
He added: “I believe when Manny sees Thurman throw heavy punches, he’ll step in and poom!”
Up in the ring doing his cool down routine, Pacquiao said he’s contented with his training so far.
“I’m in a very good condition. I like my movements. I don’t get tired,” Pacquiao said.
But what’s he’s unhappy about is Thurman’s continuous scathing remarks on him.
“Madaldal eh. Kung magsalita akala mo bagito ang makakalaban niya (He talks to much. And he’s speaking like he’s facing a newbie),” said Pacquiao, the WBA welterweight regular champion.
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