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Friday, April 3, 2009

Hattonesque sparmates on hand to train Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s training intensifies as he enters the fifth week of preparations for his upcoming fight with Ricky Hatton and he’s hiked his sparring sessions to eight rounds this week.

And helping the Filipino pound for pound king get into tip-top shape are a stable of Hattonesque sparring partners, such as unbeaten Urbano Antillon and David Rodela, a former sparmate of Hatton.

According to, the aggressive and hard-hitting Antillon has been tapped as the main sparring partner of Pacquiao because like Hatton he loves to use his strength to pressure his foes. A junior lightweight and lightweight division prospect, Antillon (25-0, 18KOs) engaged Pacquiao in a fierce exchange of hard blows during their first session last week.

Also on hand is ex-Hatton sparmate Rodela, who uses his familiarity with Hatton's tendencies in the ring to mimic the fighter from Manchester.

For a good measure, fighters with a different style and build as Hatton are thrown in the mix.

Pacquiao has earlier sparred with junior lightweight champ Jorge Linares, an orthodox fighter who prefers boxing and trickery to stalking and pressuring. There’s also a “big man" from Philadelphia who’s in the stable to keep Pacquiao busy.

“Importante para sa amin na makapagsanay at makapaghanda sa anumang style na dadalhin ni Hatton sa gitna ng ring at ang ilan sa aking mga sparring partners ay may kanya-kanyang katangian upang gayahin ang style ni Hatton," Pacquiao wrote in his weekly "Kumbinasyon" column for and Abante.

The “Pambansang Kamao" also reported that everything’s A-OK at his training camp.

"Painit na rin ng painit ang training namin sa Wild Card gym kasama ang aking koponan upang mapaghandaan ng lubus-lubusan si Ricky Hatton ng United Kingdom sa May 2.Dumating na kami sa yugto ng training kung saan walong rounds na ang sparring namin at nitong Martes ng hapon, walong rounds na ang aking tinapos," he said.

“Gusto ko lang pong ipaabot sa aking mga kababayan na maganda ang kundisyon ng aking pangangatawan at sa ensayo ko, natutuwa ang aking coaching staff sa aking ipinamamalas. Masaya ang buong team at malulusog din silang lahat," he added.

So serious is Pacquiao at the task at hand that his latest sparmate, Scottish boxer Gary Young, got hurt and bloodied.

A four-division champion, Pacquiao is gunning for Hatton’s Ring Magazine and International Boxing Organization junior welterweight title in their “Battle of East and West" bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. –GMANews.TV


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