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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pacquiao down to last few days of sparring

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao sparred for 10 rounds against three separate boxers Tuesday at the Wild Card Gym as he neared the last few days of sparring for his May 2 battle with Ricky Hatton.

David Rodela, Raymund Serrano and Urbano Antillon alternated on Pacquiao who has gone over a hundred rounds now, with five more days of sparring before heading to Vegas.

Pacquiao and his huge entourage leave for Sin City on April 27 or five days before the fight. Once he gets there, it’ll be a matter of staying in shape, light drills and watching his weight.

Pacquiao will be back sparring on Thursday (Friday in Manila). The following day, his chief trainer, Freddie Roach, will leave for Puerto Rico to be in the corner of Gerry Peñalosa.

The 36-year-old Peñalosa, probably the oldest Pinoy boxing champion ever, will climb a notch higher to challenge the undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez for the WBO super-bantamweight crown.

The fight is set April 25 at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Puerto Rico, and the day after the fight Roach should again board the plane to re-join Pacquiao for his last week of sparring.

Pacquiao may do 12 rounds on Thursday, and then should start tapering off by going down to 10, eight, six and four rounds until they call it off. He normally logs around 150 of sparring in training.

It will be the second time Roach will leave the training camp for the Hatton fight. Last March, he was away for a week to attend to Amir Khan who fought and crushed Marco Antonio Barrera in England.
In Roach’s absence, Buboy Fernandez puts on the mitts, while ex-heavyweight champion Michael Moorer and fellow trainers Alex Ariza, Eric Brown and Nonoy Neri lend a hand.
Hatton has been in Vegas for more than two weeks now, training under Floyd Mayweather Sr. at the IBA Gym, the same gym being used by Pacquiao when he’s in town.

Hatton was a couple of weeks ahead in training but brushed off insinuations that he may be overdoing things heading to his defense of his 140 lb title against the reigning pound for pound champ.


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