PACQUIAO HIT BY JET LAG, SKIPS WILD CARD WORKOUT
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao was supposed to start his up-tempo grind for his much-awaited rematch against WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 12, but the eight division champion was hit by jet lag and was forced to skip working out at the Wild Card Gym of trainer Freddie Roach yesterday.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told the Manila Standard that Pacquiao who reunited with former strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune and one-time heavyweight contender who fought champion Lennox Lewis “ran this morning (at Griffith Park in Los Angeles) and has been sleeping the rest of the day” after jetlag hit him.
Pacquiao is expected to buckle down to business on Tuesday (LA Time) which is normally set aside as a day for sparring.
Roach who was pleased with Pacquiao’s condition when he spent two weeks with him in GenSan indicated that “the real business begins on Monday at Wild Card” pointing out that he had lined up some “great sparring waiting for Manny” but it had to be pushed back by a day.
Among those Roach has picked are former world junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt, former lightweight champion Steve Forbes and Speedy Gonzales.
Roach told the Manila Standard that Holt who lost his title to reigning welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley despite dropping Bradley once in the opening round and once in the last round “likes to sometimes engage and will give us the power.”
Speedy Gonzales, as his name implies will be there to hone Pacquiao’s already potent hand-speed while Forbes will provide Manny “the best look as a boxer besides being an intelligent fighter.”
Roach made it clear that Pacquiao “wants that title back and if Bradley thinks he’s going to see the same compassionate Manny he saw the first time they fought, he is in for a very big surprise.”
Pacquiao told us he is focused on the task ahead and is “determined to bring back the aggressiveness and perfect my timing, speed and movement.”
With a month to go before his eagerly awaited rematch with Bradley, Pacquiao said “what I am trying to do this time around is to bring back the young Manny Pacquiao to prove that I am still young, an elite fighter and my time is not done yet.”