Sparring partners impressed with ‘sharp’ Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao has brought in a couple of big southpaws to prepare him for his fight against WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
The two sparring partners said they impressed with how the Filipino slugged it out with them.
Maurice Lee and Alexis Rocha both stand at 5-foot-10, half an inch taller than Spence, and the two pugs were pushed to the limit in their simulations against a fighter who’s more than a decade older than them.
“Just done with sparring with the legend himself Manny Pacquiao and he’s sharp,” said Lee, 29, in Team Pacquiao’s YouTube clip. “It’s the first day and he’s already sharp.”
Rocha, in an interview with ES News, said he never felt that Pacquiao was a 42-year-old between the ropes and that the Filipino seemed to move like someone in his 20s.
“He’s like 27 or 28 in the ring,” said the 24-year-old Rocha. “He’s a great representation of ‘age is just a number.’”
Pacquiao is training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles more than a month before he takes on Spence for the WBC, IBF, and Ring Magazine welterweight titles on August 21 in Las Vegas.
Lee (12-1-2) said Pacquiao still has the chops to put away the 31-year-old Spence while Rocha sees the fight squarely between the two.
“I predict a decision win over Errol Spence, possibly even a knockout,” said Lee in Team Pacquiao’s video.
“It’s a 50/50 fight in my book because of Pacquiao’s experience alone. People always say he’s 42, he’s old, but trust me this guy is not old, this guy is young still,” said Rocha in ES News’ interview. “And with Errol Spence, he’s such a big southpaw, he’s the boogeyman of the division you can’t count him out. It’s a 50/50 fight for me.”
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