(AP File Photo)
With just over a month to go before eight-division world champion and reigning WBO Welterweight king Manny Pacquiao heads down under to defend his title against Australia’s own Jeff Horn in Brisbane, the boxing legend’s training camp is in full swing.
And at two years shy of 40, the man they call “Pacman” is still wearing his sparring partners out.
Just ask 28-year old Leonardo Dornio from Iloilo, who says he could barely keep up with the fighter ten years his senior.
“Hindi ko masabayan ang galaw niya, iyong side to side sobrang bilis, talaga.” Doronio said. “Si Jeff Horn, nako, kawawa.”
Even 24-year old Sonny Katiangdagho, an 11-2 prospect out of General Santos City, found himself having a hard time against the former pound-for-pound great.
“Feeling ko yung three rounds parang twelve. Sobrang bilis, lalo na ang counter.”
As the days go on, Pacquiao is getting better and better, and according to head trainer and coach Freddie Roach, sparring day four was a steep improvement from day three.
“He is getting better,” said Roach. “He hasnt fought in eight months, so it was much better today. This is his fourth sparring and I expect it to get better. I’m very happy it was much better than third day.”
And if Pacquiao wants to be in tip-top shape by July 2nd, daily improvement is something that his camp should strive for.
Wearing out sparring partners is one thing, but performing well against Horn, an unbeaten former Olympian is another thing.
“Horn usually comes forward all the time,” Roach said of the reigning WBO Inter-Continental welterweight champ.
“Sparring ngayon, getting better at after iyon, mitts na nine rounds,” Pacquiao said. The boxer-slash-senator says he’s happy with the punching power that he’s seeing from himself. “Power is good.”
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