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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pacquiao hurts Roach's chin in gym

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Pacquiao vs Clottey
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated March 07, 2010 12:00 AM

HOLLYWOOD – For 15 rounds non-stop, Manny Pacquiao went for the kill.

And a good number of times, he caught his master, Freddie Roach, on the chin or just too hard on the body, and made his two-hour workout at the Wild Card Gym look like the real thing.

“Sorry coach, sorry,” said Pacquiao as he backed off after one of his right hooks glanced the chin of his trainer.

But Roach, who celebrated his 50th birthday Friday by putting on his three-inch body armor and working the mitts with Pacquiao, really didn’t mind. He’s gotten used to it anyway. Even if it hurts.

“He hurts me and knocks the wind off me sometimes,” he said.

But it’s all part of his job, and Roach would like to see Pacquiao do the same against Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. In fact, he sees Pacquiao winning by knockout.

“Kill the body,” was Roach’s constant reminder during their 15-round session with the mitts. He believes that Clottey, bigger but older, has never been hit to the body as hard as Pacquiao would hit him.

On top of the ring, they worked on the different angles and on running rings around Clottey and at the same time planting solid blows to the side of the body and to the head which they hope would work.

“There’s nothing he can do when you’re not standing in front of him,” said Freddie during breaks that never lasted more than five seconds. “There’s nothing he can do. Take advantage of that.”

They were almost whispering to each other as they map out the plan, always looking for something new, always looking for ways to make things better and making things worse for the opponent.

“We’re not going to leave a pattern,” said Roach on top of the ring. He wants Pacquiao to keep Clottey guessing all night, guessing where his punches are coming from and guessing what his next move would be.

Pacquiao was just having a good time on the ring when Roach, after 15 rounds non-stop, said it’s time to call it a day.

“Uno-mas. Uno-mas (One more. One more),” Pacquiao kept on repeating.

But Roach would have none of it.

“When will you ever get tired? Go get water. I need to rest,” he said.

And then it was over.

“Masaya kami (We’re happy),” said Pacquiao, who earlier in the morning ran up Mount Lee, the tallest peak in Los Angeles, and ended up looking down at the very famous landmark, the Hollywood Sign.

“Lumampas pa ako doon sa sign. That was my longest run in training and it took me more than an hour to get to the top. It was like running a marathon uphill. Grabe talaga,” he said.

Notes: The birthday song filled the Wild Card Gym after the two-hour workout, and Manny Pacquiao presented Freddie Roach with a birthday cake. Roach blew the candles and made a wish: Knock Clottey out...Each of the 87 persons who joined Pacquiao’s weight loss contest had to sign a waiver prepared by Dr. Allan Recto just to make sure that the boxing superstar won’t be held liable if something happens to any of them. Pacquiao has offered $3,000 to anyone who’d lose 15 percent of their body weight inside three weeks. Dr. Recto said it’s no joke. Most of those who joined the contest, you see, are non-athletes, just plain individuals, and trying to lose so much weight in so little time may cause them harm. Some of them are said to be starving themselves to death just to get the money. Based on Dr. Recto’s official list, there are those needing to lose as little as 15 lb and one as much as 40 lb. “We prepared the waiver to make sure no one sues Manny if something bad happens to him or her,” said Dr. Recto. As an icing on the cake, Pacquiao has offered another $20,000 to the one who will lose the most in weight, percentage wise. The final weigh-in is set Sunday. Get the ambulance ready.


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