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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pacquiao to begin the tough grind to Texas

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LA Boxing Examiner | Ricardo Lois

Los Angeles -- I openly wonder if boxing fans, the hardcore or casual, really take into account the dedication and iron-like will it takes to become a world class boxer.

For each and every boxing battle, there are hundreds of sparring rounds, miles and miles of jogging, and thousands upon thousands of minutes spent on the heavy bag, mitt work, speed bag, and other training regimens. Add the strict dietary guidelines in relation to calories and making the contracted fighting weight and boxing might be the most grueling of all sports.

Today, at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California, Manny Pacquiao starts the cumbersome road to March 13, when he will face tough welterweight Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The press conferences in Dallas and New York are over and now Pacquiao must focus on the situation at hand: a fight that is 54 days away against a fighter who is rugged and will not fade quietly into the Texas night.

(Watch video coverage of the NYC press conference for Pacquiao vs. Clottey)

Along with the aforementioned training regimen, which will be supervised by trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao must select sparring partners. These men, who will give themselves physically in assisting Pacquiao, must emulate Clottey's in the ring style.

While no news has leaked regarding the list of sparring mates for Pacquiao, beyond young Shawn Porter, Roach would be wise to find strong fighters above the welterweight class that will test his mettle to the fullest.

In order to copy cat Clottey's style, the sparring partners must have strong right hands, the ability to rattle of combinations - specifically a left hand following the solid right by Clottey, and use one hand combinations.

(Watch a video interview with Manny Pacquiao.)

One name that comes to mind when contemplating potential sparring partners is the Roach trained middleweight Roman Karmazin.

If Pacquiao can crack the tough Russian nut in sparring, he would be well-prepared for the test presented by Clottey.

It will be interesting to see who is selected to assist Pacquiao in the difficult days to come.

(Watch a video interview with Coach Freddie Roach.)


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