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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sparmates can't keep up with in-form Manny

Pacquiao vs Clottey
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated March 04, 2010 12:00 AM

HOLLYWOOD – Probably one reason Freddie Roach wanted less rounds of sparring this time is because it’s getting more and more difficult to find guys who can really keep up with Manny Pacquiao.

With just nine days left and a couple more rounds to go before his fight with Joshua Clottey, the heavy-handed Pacquiao continued to punish anyone thrown at him by his trainer at the Wild Card gym.

Since sparring began on the fourth week of January, the 31-year-old Pinoy icon had sparring partners, around 10 of them, lining up like they were disputing the welterweight slot in the US Olympic team.

From Brian Brooks, Dave Rodela, Ray Beltran and Jose Benavidez, a 2009 Golden Gloves welterweight champion, to Mike Dallas, Steve Forbes, Shawn Porter, Abdulla Amidu and Jamie Kavanagh.

“The more guys they put on him the more guys he beat up,” said Wild Card security enforcer Rob Peters in a brief chat with Filipino scribes just outside the Wild Card Gym on a cold Tuesday evening.

Roach had just taken off, and so Peters did some talking.

“The camp has been good. Freddie’s happy and Manny’s in good spirits. We’ve been super strict with the fans the entire camp and it’s been working,” said Peters, who makes sure Pacquiao trains behind closed doors.

Peters was in there Tuesday when Pacquiao sparred with Kavanagh, the newest member of the Pacquiao sparring team. He’s a 19-year-old Irish armed with a respectable 168-12 record as an amateur and a future as a pro.

Peters said Kavanagh was probably out to make an impression that he came out swinging at Pacquiao like he wasn’t aware that he was in the ring with the greatest boxer in the planet today, the pound-for-pound champion.

“He came in a little too brave.. So, he comes in and Manny hits him with a good shot,” said Peters, adding that as Kavanagh staggered, Pacquiao had to step back a little.

“Manny really hit him with some serious shots,” said the Wild Card enforcer who noted that Pacquiao did a total of 10 rounds with Kavanagh, Amidu, Rodela and Beltran.

Pacquiao is in his last few days of sparring. He did 12 rounds against four guys last Saturday, and for this week the numbers should go down to 10, eight, six and four until they wrap things up by Saturday or Monday.

For his previous fights, Pacquiao does close to 150 rounds of sparring, but for this fight, Roach said a little over a hundred would be good enough because his boxer did not take long to be in good shape.

After all, it’s been only two months after he demolished Miguel Cotto that Pacquiao started training for Clottey.

Notes: Pacquiao will hold a media workout Wednesday at the Wild Card Gym starting at 2 p.m. There will be no sparring but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Joshua Clottey’s media workout is set Thursday in New York... Pacquiao should be happy with the arrival of his wife, Jinkee, Tuesday evening from Manila, and might bring her along when he appears at The Jimmy Kimmel Show later in the evening along the famous Hollywood Boulevard. Pacquiao was in the same show last November, in the runup for the Miguel Cotto fight, but created quite a stir when he drove in on his black Mercedes with a camera-shy girl who everybody thought wasn’t Jinkee.... Freddie Roach turns 50 on Friday. His birthday wish? Of course, a big win over Clottey.


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