LOS ANGELES, CA—Five days after Manny Pacquiao landed here from Manila, chief trainer Freddie Roach cancelled the workout scheduled for the day to give his ward time to recover from jet lag brought about by the long, 11-hour plane trip.
The following day, the eight-division champion was back in the gym and punished his two sparring partners—Congolese-Canadian Ghislain Maduma and American Lydell Rhode—elating Roach and his assistants no end.
Today (Saturday in Manila), the 37-year-old former World Boxing Organization welterweight kingpin skipped anew his gym activities due to the grueling 12-round sparring the day before coupled with an energy-sapping roadwork at theGriffith Hills this Friday morning.
Like what happened a week before, Roach did not worry one bit, dismissing the incident as normal to a hard-working guy like Pacquiao, who he said is expected to make it up the following day.
“Manny needs a bit of rest after a hard day’s work Thursday when he engaged his mates to a no-nonsense sparring, which by far was the best since we arrived here from Manila,” the 56-year-old Hall of Famer told this writer and those who would care to listen inside the Wild Card Gym.
“No, I’m not worried at all ‘cause I know he’ll be back tomorrow and like before, he’ll kill himself in the scheduled skirmishes,” Roach explained. “As we’ve been saying, Manny’s already in peak form and can easily adjust to whatever glitch that may occur from now until we leave for Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is fighting American Timothy Bradley for the third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand.
Training, according to Roach, resumes Saturday (Sunday in Manila) with the scheduled toned down eight rounds of sparring.
Conditioning coach Justin Fortune agreed, saying preparation at this stage, three weeks before the actual combat, is focused on maintaining what the camp has achieved.
“What we are avoiding at this stage of the run up to the day of the fight is acquiring an injury that might jeopardized the gains we accomplished in the camp,” Fortune said.