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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pacquiao: 7-wk training enough for Clottey bout

He only has seven weeks to train for his March 13 title defense against Joshua Clottey of Ghana but Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao assured everyone that it would be enough to get him geared up for the showdown at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

Now on his second week of training at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, Pacquiao shrugged off concerns about the build-up for Clottey being shorter than his usual eight-week camps.

“No (it's not a concern), training is good. Right now I have pretty good movement. I am throwing good combinations and I will be ready for the fight on March 13," Pacquiao said in an interview with 8 Count News.

The 31-year-old Pacquiao has started sparring last Friday, thoroughly dominating a bigger Bryan Brooks, whom trainer Freddie Roach is already considering to drop as sparmate.

Assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez said Pacquiao is right on schedule in so far as getting into his rhythm is concerned.

“Na-impress kami kasi first day pa lang, gagalaw na siya nang ganon kaganda," Fernandez said in a TV interview with GMA News. “Usually kasi yung ganoong galaw mga two days, three days ng sparring lumalabas. Ngayon, talagang nakita natin na nilabas niya agad."

The relatively shorter gap between his last outing (Nov. 14 against Miguel Cotto) and the start of training for the Clottey gig this month also contributed to this fast progress.

“Siguro dahil hindi masyadong malayo ang gap ng huling laban at yung condition ko, hindi naman masyadong nawala (after the Cotto fight) kaya konting tune-up lang, nandyan na agad (rhythm)," Pacquiao told GMA News.

Team Pacquiao, as always, will be banking on the Pacman’s vaunted speed and power against the tough Clottey.

“(The difference will be) speed. The thing is that everybody has an asset and it’s not a secret why we can compete at this level at this weight. Manny Pacquiao has speed and power and that’s the key to winning the fight," said Roach.

The Hall of Fame trainer said they will try to break down Clottey, who has never been knocked out before.

“He has a passive defense and leaves his body wide open for a while when he puts his hands up…When we dig to the body and break him down, I think we can get him out of there," Roach said.

Still, knowing Clottey's durability, Roach said Team Pacquiao will prepare to go "12 hard rounds" against the Bronx-based Ghanaian. - GMANews.TV


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